Ross Stores reported Thursday earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended January 29, 2011 of $1.37, up from $1.16 for the 13 weeks ended January 30, 2010. These results represent a strong 18% increase on top of an outstanding 53% gain for the same period last year. Net earnings for the 2010 fourth quarter grew to a record $161.8 million, up 13% from $142.9 million in the prior year. Sales for the fourth quarter ended January 29, 2011 grew 8% to $2.145 billion, with comparable store sales up 4% on top of a 10% gain in 2009. For the 52 weeks ended January 29, 2011, earnings per share were $4.63, up a robust 31% on top of a 52% gain in fiscal 2009 when earnings per share totaled $3.54. The stock was still trading at a rise at the close of this edition.
Also Nike was scheduled to report third-quarter results after the close of market on Thursday. On average, 14 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to have earned $1.11 per share in the quarter, with estimates ranging between $1.01 and $1.21 per share. Revenue for the quarter is estimated to rise 9.3 percent year-over-year to $5.17 billion. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
FBR Capital Markets, in a recent client note, raised its third-quarter earnings per share estimate for Nike to $1.12 from $1.10, based primarily on better gross margin. The revision also assumes a 9 percent top-line growth. The brokerage forecasts global future orders to rise 7 percent.
Finally, Children's Place, the value-priced children's apparel retailer, was upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital. The firm set its target price at $58. On the contrary, American Eagle Outfitters, was downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital. The firm set its target price at $15.