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Ross Stores Matches Estimates

Third-quarter earnings jump 21% on improved sales and margins.

Ross Stores

(ROST) - Get Ross Stores, Inc. Report

said its third quarter earnings rose 21% from a year ago, helped by higher sales and improved margins.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based off-price retailer earned $43.9 million, or 31 cents a share, in the quarter ended Oct. 28, up from $36.3 million, or 25 cents a share, a year ago. The earnings were in line with analysts' forecast of 31 cents a share, according to Thomson First Call.

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Third-quarter revenue rose 10% from a year ago to $1.36 billion, while same-store sales increased 4%. Analysts predicted revenue of $1.34 billion.

Operating profit increased 19% to $70.6 million, while operating profit margin improved 40 basis points to 5.2%.

"Third quarter earnings were better than planned, benefiting from healthy sales trends and a measurable improvement in operating margin," the company said. "Regionally, the strongest sales performance during the quarter was in the Southwest and Texas, while Home and Shoes remained the top-performing merchandise categories."

Shares of Ross Stores recently were off 22 cents to $30.95.

This story was created through a joint venture between and IRIS.