From: Reuters
Published May 21, 2008 10:15 AM

Ross posts higher profit in first quarter

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Off-price retailer Ross Stores Inc <ROST.O> said on Wednesday that first-quarter net profit rose, citing strong sales of dresses and shoes and strict inventory and expense management.

Net income was $79.5 million, or 60 cents per share, in the quarter ended on May 3, compared with $67.0 million, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.

A real estate settlement contributed 2 cents per share to the latest quarter's results, said the company, which buys excess apparel, accessories and home goods in bulk from manufacturers at below-wholesale prices and sells them at a discount to department stores.

Quarterly sales rose 10 percent to $1.56 billion, as same-store sales rose 3 percent.

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For the second quarter, the company forecast earnings per share of 43 cents to 47 cents and same-store sales growth of 1 percent to 3 percent.

For the full year, it forecast earnings of $2.19 to $2.29 per share.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Derek Caney)

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