Ross Stores Reports September Same Store Sales Gain of 6%
PLEASANTON, Calif., Oct 05, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $499 million for the five-week period ended September 30, 2006, a 12% increase above the $446 million in sales for the five weeks ended October 1, 2005. Comparable store sales for the same period rose 6% on top of a 9% gain in the prior year.
For the eight-month period ended September 30, 2006, sales were $3.523 billion, a 13% increase above the $3.130 billion in sales for the prior year's comparable period ended October 1, 2005. Comparable store sales for the eight months grew 5% on top of a 6% gain in the prior year.
Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "September results were well ahead of our forecast for a 1% to 3% increase in comparable store sales. The strongest regions during the month were Texas, the Southwest, the Mid-Atlantic and the Mountain states, while Home and Shoes were the top performing businesses. Inventory levels and markdown activity were in line with expectations during the month, and we realized healthy gross margin on the ahead of plan sales. Looking ahead, we are now forecasting same store sales in October to increase 2% to 4% on top of a 7% gain in the prior year. We also have updated our outlook for third quarter earnings per share, which are now projected to be slightly above the high end of our prior range of $.24 to $.27."
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 October 5, 2006 through 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on October 6, 2006. A transcript of these comments also will be made available on the press release page of the Company's website at www.rossstores.com. The Company expects to report October sales results on Thursday, November 2nd and fiscal 2006 third quarter earnings results on Tuesday, November 14th.
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, growth plans and productivity initiatives 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 its various supply chain, core merchandising and other information systems; its ability to improve its micro-merchandising capabilities through the implementation of new processes and systems enhancements; achieving and maintaining targeted levels of productivity and efficiency in its distribution centers; potential pressure on freight costs from higher-than-expected fuel surcharges; 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, including the potential impact from higher gas prices on consumer spending; 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; greater than planned operating costs; the Company's ability to continue to purchase attractive brand-name merchandise at desirable discounts; the Company's ability to identify and successfully enter new geographic markets; and the Company's ability to attract and retain personnel with the retail talent necessary to execute its strategies. Other risk factors are detailed in the Company's SEC filings including, without limitation, the Form 10-K for fiscal 2005 and the Form 10-Q's and 8-K's for fiscal 2006. 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 2005 revenues of $4.9 billion. As of September 30, 2006, the Company operated 766 Ross stores and 26 dd's DISCOUNTS locations, compared to 713 Ross stores and 20 dd's DISCOUNTS 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 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 www.rossstores.com .
SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.
John G. Call, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, +1-925-965-4315, or
Katie Loughnot, Vice President, Investor Relations , +1-925-965-4509, or
firstname.lastname@example.org, both of Ross Stores, Inc.