Ross Stores January Comps Rise 4%; Approves Share Buyback Plan and Raises Dividend 21%

On Thursday discount retail store operator Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST) reported its January sales results, posting a 4% growth in comparable same-store sales. Also, the company approved a 21% increase to its quarterly dividend payout.

The Pleasanton, California-based company said its January sales were $672 million, a 39% increase from the $483 million in sales in January of 2012. Comparable same-store sales grew 4% in January versus a 5% gain in January of 2012.

Year-over-year sales grew 13% to $9.721 billion compared to $8.608 billion in sales in the previous year. Same store sales from January 2012 to January 2013 rose 6% versus a 5% growth in same store sales from January 2011 to January 2012.

The company is now expected its quarterly earnings per share to be in a range of $1.06 and $1.07. Analysts are expecting EPS to be $1.06 cents in the quarter.

Ross also announced the approval of a $1.1 billion share buyback plan over the next two years. Furthermore, the Board of Directors raised its quarterly dividend payout from 14 cents per share to 17 cents per share, a 21% increase.

Ross shares were up slightly during morning trading on Thursday. The stock is up +14% over the past year.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Ross Stores (ROST) have a dividend yield of 1.14% based on Thursday’s intraday trading price of $59.76 and the company’s updated annualized dividend payout of 68 cents per share.

Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST) is not recommended at this time, holding a DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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