Ross Stores touts first quarter gains, ups guidance
HTT Staff -- Home Textiles Today, 5/18/2012 12:06:22 PM
Pleasanton, Calif. - Ross Stores attributed favorable weather across many of its markets and strength in its value-minded offerings with driving better-than-expected first quarter results.
Net earnings grew 21% to $208.6 million, or 93 cents per share.
Sales for the quarter ended April 28, increased 14% to $2.357 billion, with comparable store sales up 9% on top of a 3% gain in 2011.
Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and ceo, cited strides in the company's operating margin, which "for the period grew about 70 basis points to a record 14.4% driven primarily by leverage on selling, general and administrative expenses from the robust gains in same store sales."
He added that cost of goods sold as a percent of sales improved 15 basis points from the prior year, "as higher merchandise gross margin and leverage on occupancy were partially offset by increases in distribution, freight and buying costs."
Ross is raised its fiscal year earnings per share guidance for to $3.26 to $3.37, above the company's initial guidance of $3.12 to $3.27 and compared to $2.86 in fiscal 2011.
Ross is also increasing its long-term projected store potential to 2,500 locations in the United States, which would consist of 2,000 Ross stors and 500 dd's Discounts units.
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