Ross Stores, Inc. posted a 12% increase in September sales to $499 million from $446 million in the same period last year. Comparable store sales for the month 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.”