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Ross Stores Reports Strong June Sales and Updated Outlook for Second Quarter And Fiscal 2002 EPS

NEWARK, Calif., Jul 11, 2002 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX/ -- Ross Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROST) today reported sales of $340 million for the five weeks ended July 6, 2002, a 27% increase above the $268 million in sales for the five weeks ended July 7, 2001. Comparable store sales for the month of June increased 12% over the prior year period.

For the five months through July 6, 2002, sales were $1.428 billion, a 23% increase above the $1.163 billion in sales for the prior year's comparable period ended July 7, 2001. Comparable store sales for the five months grew 11% over the same year-to-date period in 2001.

In commenting, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Balmuth said, "We are very pleased with the strong sales gains achieved in June. Our business continues to benefit from an abundant offering of fresh and exciting name brand fashions for the family and the home at compelling discounts, which is contributing to broadbased strength throughout most geographic markets and merchandise categories."

Mr. Balmuth continued, "As a result, we have adopted a slightly more optimistic outlook for sales and earnings over the balance of 2002. We are now forecasting same store sales gains for the remainder of the year as follows: (i) a 5% estimated increase for the month ending August 3, 2002, (ii) a 5% forecasted gain for the third quarter ending November 2, 2002, and (iii) a 3% estimated increase for the fourth quarter ending February 1, 2003. If sales perform in line with these newly forecasted ranges, then we estimate that earnings per share for the fiscal year ending February 1, 2003 will be approximately $2.44, which would represent an estimated 28% increase over the $1.91 earned during the fiscal year ended February 2, 2002. Based on these new sales assumptions, earnings per share by quarter now are forecast as follows for the balance of the year:

  • $.62 for the second quarter ending August 3, 2002, which would represent an estimated 41% increase over the $.44 earned in the second quarter ended August 4, 2001.
  • $.52 for the third quarter ending November 2, 2002, which would represent an estimated 21% increase over the $.43 earned in the third quarter ended November 3, 2001.
  • $.71 for the fourth quarter ending February 1, 2003, which would represent an estimated 15% increase over the $.62 earned in the fourth quarter ended February 2, 2002."

The company will report final results for the 13 weeks ending August 3, 2002 on Tuesday, August 20, 2002. Additional recorded information concerning today's press release and the company's future outlook for the second quarter and fiscal year can be accessed by calling 402-220-5900, PIN #2363, from 8:30 a.m. eastern time on July 11, 2002 through 8:00 p.m. eastern time on July 12, 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," "believe," "anticipate," "forecast," "estimate," "projected" and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. The forecasted same store sales increases and estimated earnings per share for the second, third and fourth quarters are also 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 bring on line the new distribution center in South Carolina and retrofit the existing distribution center in Pennsylvania, 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 national 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 485 stores in operation at July 6, 2002, compared to 423 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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