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Ross Boosts Q3 Earnings Guidance Though October Sales Momentum Slowed

For the quarter ended October 27, Ross Stores Inc. posted sales of $2.26 billion, up 11% from the period ended October 29, 2011. Comparable store sales for the quarter increased 6% year over year.

For the four weeks ended October 27, Ross reported that sales increased 8% to $715 million. Comparable store sales for the month gained 4% versus October 2011.

In a recorded conference call on October sales, John Call, group vp and CFO, said Juniors and Accessories were the top-performing product categories during the month. Texas and the Southwest reported the best sales growth among regions.

Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO, said commenting on Ross financial results, “With October performing at the high end of our projections, we expect to report another quarter of solid, above-plan growth in both sales and earnings. We also remain well positioned as a value retailer in the current environment, and our business continues to benefit from our ongoing ability to deliver a wide assortment of fresh and exciting name brand fashions to today’s bargain-oriented consumers.”

Balmuth added that the company projected earnings per share in the 13 weeks that ended on October 27 “to be in the range of 71 cents to 72 cents, up slightly from our prior guidance of 70 cents to 71 cents mainly due to higher merchandise margin. This forecasted range compares to 63 cents in earnings per share for the same period last year.”