Pleasanton, Calif. -- Ross Stores Inc. reported third-quarter profit of $171.6 million, up from $159.5 million a year earlier, on higher sales and gross margins. Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the off-retailer forecast earnings below Street estimates and said it was adopting a more cautious outlook for the quarter.
"As we enter the fourth quarter, our merchants have acquired a wide array of exciting and sharply-priced name brand fashions and gifts to appeal to today's value-focused shoppers. That said, we are up against our own challenging multi-year comparisons and an upcoming holiday season that we believe will be the most intensely competitive and promotional selling period in recent years,” said CEO Michael Balmuth.
Ross Stores said sales rose 6% to $2.4 billion. Comparable store sales increased 2%.