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Ross finds home a healthy place

PLEASANTON , Calif. — Ross Stores continues to experience a healthy home business, with the leading product categories “in the recent past” being domestics and housewares, company executives said during its first quarter conference call today.

Michael Balmuth, vice chairman, president and CEO, said that in Ross’ home business, “trends have been pretty good. Our strategy in home is not going to dramatically change. We’re very pleased with the progress we are making there.”

Helped by rising sales, first quarter profits increased 4 percent, to $50.1 million from $48.1 million last year. Earnings per share climbed more than twice as fast, rising 9.7 percent, to 34 cents from 31 cents last year, as the company's aggressive share repurchase program reduced the number of shares outstanding. Sales rose 13.3 percent, to $1.1 billion from $991.9 billion during the same period the year before. Same-store sales rose 3 percent.

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