By and  on March 20, 2009

Ross Stores Inc., the nation’s second largest off-price retailer, eked out a fourth-quarter profit increase as retailers reported mixed results on Thursday.

Ross’ earnings for the three months ended Jan. 31 rose 3.1 percent to $97.4 million, or 76 cents a diluted share, from $94.5 million, or 70 cents, a year ago. Sales increased 5 percent to $1.73 billion from $1.65 billion, although comparable-store sales dipped 1 percent.

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