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Q2 Sales Growth Paces Ross Stores Progress

Ross Stores, Inc. has reported net earnings for the second quarter grew to $182 million, up 23% from the prior year. Earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended July 28 were 81 cents up from 64 cents for the 13 weeks ended July 30, 2011.

Sales for the quarter increased 12% to $2.34 billion while comparable store sales gained 7% versus last year’s period.

Ross beat published analyst average estimates for comps and earnings per share.

Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO, said in commenting on the results, “We are pleased with our better-than-expected results for the second quarter. Our strong sales and earnings growth continues to be driven by our ability to deliver compelling name brand bargains to today’s value-focused consumers while strictly controlling both inventories and expenses. Operating margin for the second quarter grew about 110 basis points to a record 12.8% due to an 80 basis point improvement in cost of goods sold combined with a 30 basis point reduction in selling, general and administrative expenses from the robust gain in same store sales.”