Oct 8, 2009
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Ross Stores comp sales beat estimates, ups third quarter EPS view

Oct 8, 2009

Oct 8 (Reuters) - Off-price retailer Ross Stores Inc (ROST.O) said same-store sales for September rose more than expected and raised its third-quarter earnings view partly on reduced inventory.

Ross Stores Inc. Spring-Summer 2009

Ross now sees earnings per share for the quarter ending Oct. 31 in the range of 75 cents to 77 cents, from its earlier view of 57 cents to 63 cents a share, helped by stronger-than-planned sales and merchandise margins for the quarter to date.

For the five weeks ended Oct. 3, sales at stores open for at least a year rose 8 percent, as the retailer's value offering continued to resonate with consumers, Ross said in a statement.

Ross, like other off-price chains, buys excess apparel, accessories and home goods in bulk from manufacturers to sell them at deep discounts, and this has attracted cash-strapped consumers grappling with the recession and job losses.

Analysts were expecting September same-store sales to rise 7.2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Total sales in the month rose 12 percent to $629 million.

The company also said it sees same-store sales for the holiday period up 5 percent to 6 percent and forecast full-year earnings per share in the range of $3.18 to $3.26.

Analysts were expecting full-year earnings per share of $3.11, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the Pleasanton, California-based company were trading up 2 percent at $49.22 Thursday (8 October) morning on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)

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