Ross Stores Slumps on Q1 Slide

Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) reported downbeat results for its first quarter on Thursday.

Both sales and earnings reflect the closure of all Ross Dress for Less® and dd’s DISCOUNTS® locations starting on March 20th through the quarter end due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 throughout the United States.

More recently, in mid-May, ROST began a phased process of reopening stores on a market by market basis. This followed a careful review of current guidance from health officials and advisors, as well as federal, state, and local governments. Approximately 700 stores have reopened since, with the remaining stores expected to be reopened over the coming weeks.

For the 13 weeks ended May 2, Ross Stores reported a loss per share of ($0.87), versus earnings per share of $1.15 for the prior year period. The net loss for the first quarter was $306 million, compared to net income of $421 million last year.

Total first-quarter sales were $1.8 billion, down from $3.8 billion in the prior year. Given that stores were open for less than seven weeks of the 13-week period, the Company is not reporting comparable store sales.

First-quarter 2020 results also include a one-time, non-cash inventory valuation charge of $313 million or $0.58 per share resulting from the extended period of store closures.

Said CEO Barbara Rentler, "Our first quarter results reflect the unprecedented impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our business, which led to the closure of all stores and our first quarterly operating loss in more than 30 years."

ROST shares descended $1.41, or 1.5%, to $95.46.