Ross Stores Stock Climbs in After-Hours Trading as Q3 Results Top Expectations

Shares of Ross Stores (ROST) rose 4% to $68.15 in after-hours trading on Thursday after the off-price retailer posted better-than-anticipated results for the 2016 third quarter and gave a cautious outlook for the holiday season.

The Dublin, CA-based company said that concerns about the macro-economic, political and retail environments could lead it to sell more goods at a discount in the fourth quarter than they would like. The retailer also said it faces "challenging multi-year sales comparisons" as it enters the holiday season.

For the fourth quarter, Ross sees earnings per share between 72 cents and 75 cents, while analysts are looking for earnings of 75 cents per share. The company continues to see fourth-quarter comparable-store sales increasing between 1% and 2%.

Ross reported third-quarter adjusted earnings of 62 cents per share, surpassing analysts' projections of 56 cents per share. Revenue rose 11% to $3.09 billion year-over-year and was above Wall Street's forecasts of $2.96 billion.

Comparable-store sales jumped 7% during the most recent quarter, beating the FactSet consensus estimate for growth of 2.6%.

"We are very pleased with our better-than-expected sales and earnings growth in the third quarter as customers responded favorably to the compelling values we offered throughout our stores. Operating margin of 12.6% was ahead of plan, increasing 55 basis points mainly from higher merchandise margin," CEO Barbara Rentler said in a statement.

Full-year earnings per share are expected to be between $2.78 and $2.81, higher than Wall Street's expectations. Analysts surveyed by FactSet are looking for earnings of $2.75 per share for 2016.

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