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Ross Stores provides conservative outlook for fourth quarter

Pleasanton, Calif. - Ross Stores' home segment performed on pace with the overall company, and executives said they are satisfied with its progress. The company's profit exceeded expectations while total sales were on plan.
"As we enter the fourth quarter, our merchants have acquired a wide array of exciting and sharply-priced name brand fashions and gifts to appeal to today's value-focused shoppers," said Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and ceo. "That said, we are up against our own challenging multi-year comparisons and an upcoming holiday season that we believe will be the most intensely competitive and promotional selling period in recent years."
For the third quarter ended Nov. 2, net income rose 7.6% to $171.6 million, or 72 cents per share. Sales were up 6% to $2.4 billion, with comps up 2% on top of a 6% gain the previous year.
For the fourth quarter, Ross Stores expects same-store sales to rise 1% to 2% on top of the 5% increase in last year's fourth quarter. Earnings per share are forecast to range from 97 cents to $1.01 compared to EPS of $1.07 during the year-ago period.

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