Business & Economy

Ross Stores' revenue comparison for April rises

Discount retailer Ross Stores Inc. said Thursday that revenue at stores open at least one year rose 3 percent in April - less than the 6.3 percent jump that analysts had forecast.

CEO Michael Balmuth said the company misjudged the impact of the shift of Easter to March from April. "April also was hurt by unseasonably cool and wet weather, especially in California, our largest market," he said.

The disappointing results sent Ross Stores shares down $2.05, or 3.7 percent, to $52.95 in morning trading.

Revenue in stores open at least one year is a key measure of a retailer's financial health, because it measures performance at existing locations, rather than from expansion.

Total sales for the month rose 7 percent to $570 million.

For the quarter ended May 1, revenue at stores open at least a year jumped 10 percent as total sales rose to $1.94 billion. Wall Street, on average, was expecting revenue of $1.9 billion.

Balmuth said full-quarter sales were "significantly above our plan." He increased the lower end of the company's forecast for first-quarter earnings per share by a penny, and now expects profit of $1.15 to $1.16 per share.

Analysts, on average, expect quarterly earnings of $1.15 per share.

Ross is scheduled to report complete results for the quarter on May 20.

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