Ross Stores gave second-half guidance that was too conservative, says Wells Fargo

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Ross Stores Inc.
ROST,
-2.73%,
like its off-price competitor TJX Cos.
TJX,
+0.61%,
reported second-quarter earnings and sales that beat consensus. But Ross Stores offered guidance below expectations, driving shares down 3.7% in Friday trading. Wells Fargo says the outlook doesn’t match the better-than-expected results the company announced late Thursday. “We get it, 2H has headwinds-but we view this 2H outlook as a tad overly conservative following such a strong 2Q-not an atypical approach for this management team,” wrote analysts led by Ike Boruchow. Wells Fargo rates Ross Stores stock overweight with a $135 price target. Ross is guiding for third-quarter same-store sales growth of 5% to 7% and earnings per share in the range of $0.61 to $0.69. The FactSet consensus is for same-store sales growth of 9.9% and EPS of 81 cents. And for the fiscal year, Ross’ outlook is for EPS in the range of $4.20 to $4.38 and same-store sales growth of 10% to 11%. The FactSet consensus is for EPS of $4.48 and a same-store sales increase of 17.9%. Credit Suisse says the company has an “unwavering dedication to its conservative/value-leader narrative” and “struck a conservative tone” during its earnings report. Ross stock has slipped 0.7% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+0.81%
has added 18% for the period.

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