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Ross Stores Reports Strong August Sales and Updates Forecast For Third Quarter and 2002 EPS

NEWARK, Calif., Sep 5, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $279 million for the four week period ended August 31, 2002, a 17% increase above the $238 million in sales for the four weeks ended September 1, 2001. Comparable store sales for the same period increased 6%.

For the seven months through August 31, 2002, sales were $1.975 billion, a 21% increase above the $1.637 billion in sales for the prior year's comparable period ended September 1, 2001. Comparable store sales for the same period increased 9%.

Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are very encouraged by our performance in August. The 6 percent increase in same store sales for the month was significantly ahead of plan and on top of a 9% gain in the prior year. We continue to find an abundance of fresh and exciting bargains from a wide network of name brand vendors and manufacturers, which we believe will help us achieve our sales and earnings expectations for the balance of the year."

Mr. Balmuth continued, "Assuming that same store sales increase 7% and 6%, respectively, in September and October, and 3% in the fourth quarter, as previously forecast, we now estimate that the better than expected sales in August could add as much as $.02 in earnings per share to the third quarter and the fiscal year. As a result, we now are forecasting earnings per share to increase about 26% to $.54 for the third quarter ending November 2, 2002 and 29% to $2.46 for the fiscal year ending February 1, 2003."

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 September 5, 2002 through 8:00 p.m. eastern time on September 6, 2002. A transcript of these comments also will be made available on the press release page of the company's web site at

Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains certain forward-looking statements which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from management's current expectations. The words "plan," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "believe" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors include obtaining acceptable new store locations, competitive pressures in the apparel industry, changes in general economic conditions, changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences in apparel or home-related merchandise, the company's ability to successfully implement various new supply chain, financial and merchandising systems in a timely and cost effective manner, unseasonable weather trends, and greater than planned operating costs. Other risk factors are detailed in the company's Form 10-K for fiscal 2001. 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. operates a chain of off-price retail stores offering first quality, in-season, branded apparel and apparel-related merchandise for the entire family at prices that average 20% to 60% less than department and specialty stores, as well as merchandise for the home at similar savings. The company had 497 stores at August 31, 2002, compared to 434 stores at the end of the same period last year.

SOURCE Ross Stores, Inc.

John G. Call, Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer,
Katie Loughnot, Vice President, Investor Relations,
both of Ross Stores, Inc.

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