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Ross Stores raises guidance, posts 14% 2Q sales increase


PLEASANTON, Calif. Ross Stores reported July sales of $499 million for the four weeks ended Aug. 2, an 11% increase over the $450 million in sales for 2007. Same-store sales rose 4%.

For the 13-week second quarter ended Aug. 2, sales were $1.64 billion, a 14% increase over the $1.45 billion in the like 2007 period. Comparable-store sales for the quarter rose 6%.

"Our July same-store sales results were at the high end of our forecast for a 2% to 4% increase," said vice chairman, president and ceo Michael Balmuth. "Our solid performance for the month and the quarter was driven mainly by our ability to offer compelling bargains on fresh and exciting name-brand fashions for the family and the home. We believe that the tax rebate checks and favorable weather also benefited sales somewhat during the quarter. For July, dresses, accessories and home were the strongest merchandise categories, while Texas and the Mid-Atlantic were the best-performing markets."

The company plans for EPS for the quarter to be 53 to 54 cents, compared to a prior range of 51 to 53 cents, according to Balmuth.

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