Vice Chair and Chief Executive Officer at Ross Stores
Good afternoon. Joining me on our call today are Michael Hartshorn, Group President and Chief Operating Officer; Adam Orvos, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Connie Kao, Group Vice President, Investor Relations.
We'll begin our call today with a review of our third quarter performance, followed by an update on our outlook for the fourth quarter and fiscal year. Afterwards, we'll be happy to respond to any questions you may have.
As noted in today's press release, third quarter results were above our expectations as we delivered stronger values throughout our stores. Operating margin for the period was 9.8% versus 11.4% last year, reflecting the deleveraging effect from the comparable sales decline, as well as pressure from higher markdowns and unfavorable timing of packaway-related costs.
Earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended October 29, 2022 were $1 on net income of $342 million. This compares to $1.09 per share on net earnings of $385 million for the 13 weeks ended October 30, 2021. Total sales for the quarter were $4.6 billion, in line with the prior year, with comparable sales down 3% on top of a robust 14% gain in the third quarter of 2021. For the first nine months, earnings per share were $3.08 on net earnings of $1.1 billion compared to $3.82 per share on net income of $1.4 billion for the same period in 2021.
Sales for the year-to-date period totaled $13.5 billion with comparable store sales down 5% versus a strong 14% increase last year. For the third quarter at Ross, shoes was the best-performing business, while Florida and Texas were the top-performing regions as they were bolstered by the outperformance of border and tourist locations.
At dd's DISCOUNTS, sales trends improved versus the first half, but continue to trail Ross's results due to ongoing inflationary pressures that are having a larger impact on dd's lower income customers. Inventory levels moderated significantly from the first half of the year with total consolidated inventories at the end of the quarter up 12% compared to last year. Average store inventories during the quarter were up 4% versus 2021 and down compared to pre-pandemic levels. Packaway merchandise represented 41% of the total compared to 31% last year when we use packaway merchandise to fuel robust sales gains.
Turning to store growth. We completed our expansion program for 2022 with the addition of 28 new Ross and 12 dd's DISCOUNTS in the third quarter. For the year, we added a total of 99 locations, comprised of 71 Ross and 28 dd's DISCOUNTS. We now expect to end the year with 1,693 Ross Stores and 322 dd's DISCOUNTS locations for a net increase of 92 stores.
Now, Adam will provide further details on our third quarter results and fourth quarter guidance.