Ross Stores reports record earnings growth

PLEASANTON, Calif. Ross Stores reported earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended May 1 of $1.16, up from 72 cents for the quarter ended May 2, 2009. These results represent a 61% increase on top of 20% growth in the prior year. Net earnings for the first quarter of 2010 rose 56% to a record $142.3 million, up from $91.4 million in the first quarter of 2009, the company reported. Sales for the 13 weeks ended May 1, 2010 grew 14% to $1.935 billion, with comparable-store sales up 10% on top of a 3% gain in the prior year.

Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO, commented, "We are very pleased with our exceptional first quarter performance, which was driven by robust sales gains and record levels of profitability that were well ahead of plan.  We believe our results continue to benefit from the superior execution of our off-price strategies combined with our favorable position as a value retailer in the current economic and retail environment."    

Looking ahead, Balmuth said, "For the second quarter ending July 31, we continue to forecast a same-store sales gain of 3% to 4% and earnings per share growth of 16% to 21% to 95 cents to 99 cents, up from 82 cents in the same period last year. For the 2010 fiscal year ending Jan. 29, 2011, EPS is projected to grow 16% to 20% to $4.11 to $4.24, up from $3.54 in fiscal 2009.  These forecasted increases are especially noteworthy considering they are on top of robust 52% gains in earnings per share for both the second quarter and full year in 2009."

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