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Ross Stores increases Q1 earnings per share estimate
May '11
Ross Stores Inc reported that sales increased 14% to $651 million for the four weeks ended April 30, 2011, up from $570 million for the four weeks ended May 1, 2010. Comparable store sales for the month increased 10% on top of a 3% gain in the prior year period.

For the quarter ended April 30, 2011, sales totaled $2.075 billion, a 7% increase over the $1.935 billion in sales for the quarter ended May 1, 2010. Comparable store sales for the 13 weeks ended April 30, 2011 grew 3% on top of a very strong 10% gain last year.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased with our robust sales gains for April that were well ahead of our expectations for a 4% to 5% increase. Our performance for both the month and the quarter benefited from our ongoing ability to deliver terrific name brand bargains to today's value-focused customers. Dresses and Shoes were the best-performing merchandise areas for the month, while Texas and Florida were our strongest markets."

Mr. Balmuth continued, "Based upon our above-plan sales as well as favorable gross margin and expense trends for the first quarter, we now estimate earnings per share for the 13 weeks ended April 30, 2011 to be $1.47 to $1.48, a 27% to 28% increase over last year. We will provide detailed sales and earnings guidance for the second quarter with our first quarter earnings release and conference call on Thursday, May 19th."

Ross Stores Inc

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