When we last visited Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) back in May, I wondered if the discount retailer was beginning to run out of steam. After posting an impressive run, it seemed to be lacking the stamina to continue its push forward. Based on its latest results, and more specifically its projections, that certainly appears to be the case. Although its earnings in the quarter came in at the upper end of its guidance, they were below original analyst estimates, and the company lowered its full-year outlook.

For the second quarter, Ross Stores improved earnings by 12.1% to $50.9 million, or $0.37 per share. Sales were 10.4% higher at $1.4 billion, and comps improved 2%. The company reported strength in its dresses and home categories. However, a slowdown begun in July has management less confident about the remainder of the year.

For the full year, the company now expects to earn between $1.80 and $1.90 per share, down from earlier guidance of $1.85 to $1.95 per share. Unless the situation changes drastically, Ross will disappoint analysts, who expect earnings of $1.91 per share for the year. Ross cited problems in the overall economy as the culprit. However, operating in the same economy and trying to attract similar customers, TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX) recently increased its full-year outlook. We'll find out a little more about this market in a couple of days when Stein Mart (NASDAQ:SMRT) posts its results.

Based on its updated guidance, Ross trades at a forward P/E of about 14 or 15. That seems reasonable, particularly considering TJX boasts a forward P/E hovering above 23. However, with earnings expected to grow anywhere between 6% and 12% from last year, Ross suddenly looks more expensive.

Ross has performed well for investors over the past year, returning 15% in that time. However, based on recent circumstances and projections, I think investors would be better served searching for discounts elsewhere.

For more on the discount retailers, check out:

Fool contributor Mike Cianciolo welcomes feedback and doesn't own any of the companies in this article. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.