This excerpt taken from the ROST 8-K filed Mar 15, 2006.
ROSS STORES REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL 2005 RESULTS
Pleasanton, California, March 15, 2006 -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported that net earnings for the 13 weeks ended January 28, 2006 increased 37% to $71.0 million, compared to $51.8 million for the 13 weeks ended January 29, 2005. Earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended January 28, 2006 grew 40% to $.49, compared to earnings per share of $.35 for the prior year period.
For the 2005 fiscal year ended January 28, 2006, net earnings totaled $199.6 million, and earnings per share were $1.36, compared to net earnings of $169.9 million and earnings per share of $1.13 for the 2004 fiscal year ended January 29, 2005. Fiscal 2004 results include a non-cash pre-tax charge of approximately $15.8 million, or $.06 per share, to write-down the value of the Companys former headquarters and distribution center in Newark, California to its estimated fair market value.
Sales for the fourth quarter ended January 28, 2006 increased 16% to $1.411 billion, with comparable store sales up 6% over the prior year. For the 2005 fiscal year ended January 28, 2006, sales increased 17% to $4.944 billion, with comparable store sales up 6% over the prior year.
Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, We are pleased with the solid earnings growth we realized in the fourth quarter of 2005, which was driven by a combination of strong sales gains and expansion in operating margin. Gross profit margin for the quarter rose about 185 basis points, partially offset by an approximate 70 basis point increase in selling, general and administrative expenses mainly related to higher incentive plan costs.
Mr. Balmuth continued, For the full 2005 fiscal year, earnings benefited from a solid rebound in sales, partially offset by a combination of higher-than-expected markdowns related to transitional systems and distribution issues earlier in the year, higher expenses related to inventory shortage, and higher incentive plan and information technology costs compared to fiscal 2004.
ROSS STORES, INC. 4440 Rosewood Drive, Pleasanton, California 94588-3050 (925) 965-4400
We are pleased to report that healthy operating cash flows during 2005 continued to provide the resources to fund capital investments in new store growth and infrastructure. During fiscal 2005, $176 million in capital expenditures supported the addition of 75 net new Ross locations, ten dds DISCOUNTS® stores, the purchase of a new warehouse facility in Moreno Valley, California, and other various information technology and infrastructure investments, said Mr. Balmuth.
We also continued to enhance stockholder value through our share repurchase and dividend programs. During 2005, we completed the two-year $350 million stock repurchase program authorized by our Board of Directors in 2004, buying back a total of 6.4 million shares of common stock in 2005, for an aggregate purchase of $175 million. In addition, in November 2005, our Board of Directors authorized a new $400 million two-year stock repurchase program for 2006 and 2007 and approved a 20% increase in our quarterly cash dividend, Mr. Balmuth concluded.
The Company will host a conference call on Wednesday, March 15, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time to communicate additional details concerning the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2005 results and managements outlook and plans for 2006. A real time audio webcast of the conference call will be available at www.rossstores.com. An audio playback will be available at (402) 220-5900, PIN #2342 through March 22, 2006.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release and the recorded comments and transcript on the Companys website contain forward-looking statements regarding expected sales and earnings levels that are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause the Companys actual results to differ materially from managements current expectations. The words plan, expect, anticipate, estimate, believe, forecast, projected, guidance, looking ahead and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors for Ross Stores and dds DISCOUNTS® include, without limitation,the Companys ability to effectively operate its various supply chain, core merchandising and other information systems, including generation of all necessary data and reports in a timely and cost effective manner; its ability to improve its micro-merchandising capabilities through the implementation of new processes and systems enhancements; achieving and maintaining targeted levels of productivity and efficiency in its distribution centers; obtaining acceptable new store locations; competitive pressures in the apparel industry; changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences for apparel or home-related merchandise; changes in geopolitical and general economic conditions; unseasonable weather trends; disruptions in supply chain; lower than planned gross margin, including higher than planned markdowns and higher than expected inventory shortage; greater than planned operating costs; the Companys ability to continue to purchase attractive brand-name merchandise at desirable discounts; the Companys ability to identify and successfully enter new geographic markets; and the Companys ability to attract and retain personnel with the talent necessary to execute its strategies. Other risk factors are detailed in the Companys SEC filings including, without limitation, the Form 10-K for fiscal 2004, the Form 10-Qs for fiscal 2005, and the Form 8-Ks for fiscal 2005 and 2006. The factors underlying our forecasts are dynamic and subject to change. As a result, our forecasts speak only as of the date they are given and do not necessarily reflect the Companys outlook at any other point in time. The Company does not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements.
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Ross Stores, Inc., a Fortune 500 and Nasdaq 100 (ROST) company headquartered in Pleasanton, California, is the nations second largest off-price company with fiscal 2005 revenues of $4.9 billion. As of January 28, 2006, the Company operated 714 Ross stores and 20 dds DISCOUNTS® locations, compared to 639 Ross stores and 10 dds DISCOUNTS® locations at the end of the same period last year. Ross Stores offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 60 percent off department and specialty store regular prices. dds DISCOUNTS® features a more moderately-priced assortment of first-quality, in-season, name brand apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 70 percent off moderate department and discount store regular prices. Additional information is available on the Companys website at www.rossstores.com.
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