U.S. Markets closed

Ross 4Q profit jumps 23 pct, matches predictions

PLEASANTON, Calif. (AP) -- Discount retailer Ross Stores Inc. said Thursday its fourth-quarter net income jumped 23 percent, helped by higher demand from shoppers looking for bargains.

For the quarter ended Feb. 2, Ross earned $236.6 million, or $1.07 per share, up from $192 million, or 85 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Revenue rose 15 percent to $2.76 billion from $2.4 billion.

The results matched Wall Street predictions. Analysts, on average, expected a profit of $1.07 per share on $2.76 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Ross said its revenue at stores open at least a year increased 5 percent. The metric is a key measure of a retailer's health, because it excludes revenue from stores that recently opened or closed.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company credited its wide variety of discounted name-brand merchandise with attracting bargain-conscious shoppers.

For the full year 2012, Ross earned $786.8 million, or $3.53 per share, up from $657.2 million, or $2.86 per share, in 2011. Revenue increased to $9.72 billion from $8.61 billion.

The company also said Thursday that beginning with the second quarter of fiscal 2013 it will no longer issue monthly sales reports, but instead just include them with its quarterly earnings reports.

Ross shares rose 28 cents to $56.45 in morning trading.