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Ross Stores Reports December Same Store Sales Up 6%

PLEASANTON, Calif., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported that sales grew 16% to $672 million for the five weeks ended December 31, 2005, compared to $579 million for the five weeks ended January 1, 2005. December comparable store sales grew 6% over the prior year period.

For the 48 weeks ended December 31, 2005, sales rose 16% to $4.655 billion, compared to $3.998 billion for the 48 weeks ended January 1, 2005. Comparable store sales for the same year-to-date period rose 6%.

In commenting, Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are pleased to report that December same store sales performed ahead of our earlier guidance of up 1% to 2%. Juniors and Shoes remained the top performing merchandise departments, while the Southwest continued to be the strongest geographic region. Looking ahead, we continue to forecast same store sales gains of 3% to 4% in January and now project that earnings per share for the 13 weeks ending January 28, 2006 will be slightly ahead of the high end of our previously projected range of $.44 to $.47. This compares to earnings per share of $.35 for the 13 weeks ended January 29, 2005."

Additional recorded information concerning today's press release and the Company's future outlook can be accessed by calling 402-220-5900, PIN #2363, from 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on January 5, 2006 through 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on January 6, 2006. A transcript of these comments also will be made available on the press release page of the Company's website at The Company will report January sales results on Thursday, February 2, 2006.

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release and the recorded comments and transcript on the Company's website contain forward-looking statements regarding expected sales and earnings levels that are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause the Company's actual results to differ materially from management's current expectations. The words "plan," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe," "forecast," "projected," "guidance," "looking ahead" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors for Ross Stores and dd's DISCOUNTS(R) include, without limitation, the Company's ability to effectively operate and integrate various new supply chain and core merchandising systems, including generation of all necessary information in a timely and cost effective manner; achieving and maintaining targeted levels of productivity and efficiency in its distribution centers; obtaining acceptable new store locations; competitive pressures in the apparel industry; changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences for apparel or home-related merchandise; changes in geopolitical and general economic conditions; unseasonable weather trends; disruptions in supply chain; lower than planned gross margin, including higher than planned markdowns and higher than expected inventory shortage; and greater than planned operating costs. Other risk factors are detailed in the Company's SEC filings including, without limitation, the Form 10-K for fiscal 2004 and the Form 10-Q's and Form 8-K's for fiscal 2005. The factors underlying our forecasts are dynamic and subject to change. As a result, our forecasts speak only as of the date they are given and do not necessarily reflect the Company's outlook at any other point in time. The Company does not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements.

Ross Stores, Inc., a Fortune 500 and Nasdaq 100 (ROST) company headquartered in Pleasanton, California, is the nation's second largest off-price company with fiscal 2004 revenues of $4.2 billion. As of December 31, 2005, the Company operated 715 Ross stores and 20 dd's DISCOUNTS(R) locations, compared to 642 Ross stores and 10 dd's DISCOUNTS(R) locations at the end of the same period last year. Ross Stores 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. dd's DISCOUNTS(R) features a more moderately-priced assortment of first-quality, in-season, name brand apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 70 percent off moderate department and discount store regular prices. Additional information is available on the Company's website at

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

John G. Call
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Katie Loughnot
Vice President, Investor Relations
both of Ross Stores
Web site: