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Ross reports rosy results

Pleasanton, Calif. - Ross Stores persisted its path of profitability through the first quarter, posting positive results across the board.

Net earnings grew 12% to $234.6 million and earnings per share rose 15% to $1.07. Sales increased 8% to $2.54 billion and comparable store sales were up 3%.

"We are pleased with the slightly better-than-expected sales and earnings we delivered in the first quarter, especially considering this growth was achieved on top of strong prior year gains," said Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and ceo.

Looking ahead to the 13-week second quarter, ending August 3, Ross Stores is forecasting same store sales to increase 1% to 2%, and earnings per share in the range of 89 to 93 cents, up from last year's 81 cents.

Balmuth added that for the 52-week fiscal year, ending February 1, 2014, the company has increased its earnings-per-share guidance to be in the range of $3.70 to $3.81, up from initial guidance of $3.65 to $3.80.

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