Ross Struggles To Maintain Momentum In Q1

For the 13 weeks ended May 3, Ross Stores, Inc. has  reported earnings of $243.9 million. or $1.15 per share, versus $234.6 million, or $1.07 per share, for the 13 weeks ended May 4, 2013. Comparable store sales for the first quarter rose 1% year over year, the company announced.

Earnings per share met a Thomson Reuter’s analyst average estimate but fell a penny short of one from Zacks.

Sales increased 6% to $2.68 billion versus last year’s first quarter, the company noted.

Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO, said in comments on the financial results, “First quarter earnings per share performed at the high end of our guidance as strict inventory and expense controls offset the impact from unfavorable weather and a more challenging retail environment. Sales trends improved in April with more seasonal Spring weather that coincided with the later Easter shopping period. Operating margin for the quarter was better than forecasted, declining 25 basis points to 14.6%. A 35 basis point increase in cost of goods sold was partially offset by a 10 basis point improvement in selling, general and administrative costs.”