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March Results Better Than Ross Expectations

Ross Stores, Inc. posted a 6% sales increase to $1.04 billion for the five weeks ended April 6 versus the five weeks ended April 7, 2012. Comparable store sales for the month rose 2% year over year.

In a conference call, John Call, group senior vp and CFO, said accessories and juniors were the strongest performing merchandise categories in March, while the Southwest, Pacific Northwest and California were top-performing regions.

Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO, said in comments on the results, “March same store sales outperformed our guidance for a 1% to 2% decline and were on top of exceptionally strong prior year comparisons. As a reminder, these results were impacted by the holiday calendar shift, with Easter Sunday store closures occurring in March this year versus April last year. Looking ahead, we continue to forecast a 5% to 6% increase in April comparable store sales. Based on our quarter-to-date results, and our outlook for April, we now project earnings per share to be slightly above the high-end of our previous range of $1 to $1.04 for the 13 weeks ended May 4, 2013. This updated forecast compares to 93 cents for the 13 weeks ended April 28, 2012.”