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Off-price department store $ROST reported 16% growth in its 3Q17 earnings, helped by increased sales and higher merchandise margin. Net earnings during the quarter rose to $274MM from $245MM during 3Q16. EPS grew 16% YoY to $0.72 from $0.62. Net sales grew 8% to $3.3Bil, with comp store sales growth of 4%.
$ROST said the 4% rise in comparable store sales in 2Q17 was driven by higher traffic and an increase in the size of the average basket. Proportionally, traffic contributed more than the basket. The higher basket was driven by an increase in units.
$ROST said that in terms of California, the company continues to see comps there. Additionally in terms of the breakdown of the new store openings, about a third of $ROST new stores are in the Midwest, about a third are in existing $ROST market outside the Midwest and the remainder at dd's new openings.
$ROST stated that it expects wages to abate in 2H17, as the company anniversaries the most recent wage increases that took place in 2Q16. However, the guidance for 2017 still assumes an SG&A leverage point at about 3%, which is in line with historical averages.
During 1Q17, $ROST repurchased 3.3MM shares of common stock for an aggregate price of $215MM. The company remains on track to buyback a total of $875MM in common stock during FY17 under the new two-year $1.75Bil authorization approved by its BoD in Feb. 2017.
Off-price department store $ROST reported higher 1Q17 earnings, helped by higher sales and merchandise margins. Net income grew 10.45% to $321.02MM or $0.82 per share from $290.63MM or $0.73 per share a year ago. Revenue for the quarter grew 7% to $3.30Bil, with comparable store sales increasing 3%.
$ROST said that for 4Q16, shoes and men's were the best performing merchandise categories at the company, while the Midwest and Southeast were the strongest regions. On guidance for 2017, the company expects CapEx to be approx. $400MM and depreciation and amortization expense, inclusive of stock based amortization, to be about $400MM.
$ROST's BoD authorized a new program to repurchase $1.75Bil of its common stock over the next two fiscal years. The Board also approved a 19% increase in quarterly cash dividend to $0.16 per share, payable on March 41, 2017 to stockholders of record as of March 10, 2017.