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Pleasanton-based Ross Stores raises Q4 EPS guidance

Jan '09
Ross Stores Inc reported sales of $802 million for the five weeks ended January 3, 2009, a 6% increase over the $755 million in sales for the five weeks ended January 5, 2008. Same store sales for the five weeks ended January 3, 2009 were flat on top of a 3% increase for the five weeks ended January 5, 2008.

For the eleven months ended January 3, 2009, sales were $6.121 billion, a 9% increase over the $5.625 billion in sales for the eleven months ended January 5, 2008. Comparable store sales for the eleven months ended January 3, 2009 rose 2% over the eleven months ended January 5, 2008.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We are pleased with our solid performance during the important holiday season. Despite the fiercely competitive retail environment, we not only achieved our December sales target, but did so with healthy merchandise gross margins that were up from last year and in line with plan. These results reflect that our core strategy of delivering compelling bargains continues to resonate with today's increasingly value-driven consumer."

Looking ahead, Mr. Balmuth said, "We continue to forecast a January same store sales decline of 2% to 4%. Based on this projection and our solid quarter-to-date results, we now are forecasting earnings per share for the 13 weeks ending January 31, 2009 of $.73 to $.75, compared to our previous range of $.69 to $.75, and $.70 in the prior year."

Additional recorded information concerning today's press release and the Company's future outlook can be accessed by calling 706-645-9291, PIN # 50663647 from 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on January 8, 2009 through 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on January 9, 2009. A transcript of these comments is available at http://www.rossstores.com.

Ross Stores Inc, a Fortune 500 and Nasdaq 100 (ROST) company headquartered in Pleasanton, California, is the nation's second largest off- price retailer with fiscal 2007 revenues of $6.0 billion. As of January 3, 2009, the Company operated 908 Ross Dress for Less(R) ("Ross") stores and 57 dd's DISCOUNTS(R) locations, compared to 841 Ross and 52 dd's DISCOUNTS locations at the end of the same period last year. Ross offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 60 percent off department and specialty store regular prices.

Ross Stores Inc

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