Ross Stores, Inc.'s sales increased 2% to $828 million for the five weeks ended April 2, 2011, up from $811 million for the five weeks ended April 3, 2010. Comparable store sales for the month declined 1% compared to a very strong 14% gain in the prior year period.
For the nine weeks ended April 2, 2011, sales totaled $1.42 billion, a 4% increase over the $1.37 billion in sales for the nine weeks ended April 3, 2010. Comparable store sales for the nine weeks ended April 2, 2011 grew 1% on top of a 13% gain last year.
“March same store sales were slightly better than our expectations for a 2% to 3% decline,” said Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO. “As a reminder, in 2010, all of our pre-Easter business occurred in March, while this year, pre-holiday sales are moving into April. Home was the strongest merchandise area for the month, while Florida was our top performing market.”
Looking ahead, Mr. Balmuth said, “Based on above-plan sales and favorable gross margin and expense trends for the first two months of the quarter, we now project earnings per share for the 13 weeks ending April 30, 2011 to be somewhat above the high end of our initial guidance of $1.27 to $1.32. This updated outlook assumes April same store sales perform in line with our prior forecast for a 4% to 5% increase.”