700 Ross Stores Have Reopened — Here’s How Its Business Is Really Doing

Ross Stores Inc.’s first-quarter financials fell far short of Wall Street’s estimates as the retailer begins a gradual reopening of doors amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dublin, Calif.-based company today logged a net loss of $306 million, compared to net income of $421 million last year. Losses per share were 87 cents, versus the prior year’s earnings per share of $1.15 and analysts’ expectations of $0.06 in EPS.

Revenues, on the other hand, were $1.8 billion — down from $3.8 billion in the previous year and well below predictions of $2.12 billion for the three months ended May 2. Given that its stores were open for less than seven weeks of the 13-week period, the company opted against reporting comps.

“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,” CEO Barbara Rentler said in a statement.

In its release, the retailer announced that roughly 700 of its Ross Dress for Less and dd’s Discounts stores have opened back up in phases starting May 14. The remaining stores, it said, are expected to reopen over the coming weeks following guidance from state and local government officials.

Like many retail companies, Ross did not provide an outlook for both the second quarter and fiscal year due to the unknown impact of the health crisis on its business. At the beginning of May, it had more than $3 billion in liquidity, which includes a newly drawn down $500 million from its revolving credit facility.

What’s more, the company has suspended its stock repurchase program, as well as cut costs including ongoing expenses and capital expenditures. Today, it added that it has put a pause to its quarterly dividends and reduced the number of new store openings that were originally slated for this year.

“All of this makes us confident in our ability to successfully navigate through these challenging times,” Rentler added. “We look forward to gradually reopening all of our stores fairly soon when we can return to our mission of providing compelling bargains in a safe environment for our associates and customers.”

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