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ROSS STORES REPORTS FIRST QUARTER RESULTS

 NEWARK, Calif., May 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: ROST)today reported that first quarter net earnings increased 10 percent to $3.6 million, or 14 cents per share, for the 13 weeks ended May 1, 1993, compared to net earnings of $3.3 million, or 13 cents per share, for the 13 weeks ended May 2, 1992.
 Current year first quarter sales totaled $240 million, up 9 percent from the $221 million in sales for the quarter ended May 2, 1992. Comparable store sales for the same period were down 1 percent from the prior year.
 In commenting on these results, Norman A. Ferber, chairman and chief executive officer, stated, "Sales throughout the first three months of the year were softer than we anticipated due primarily to unusually severe winter weather in many markets, especially California and the mid-Atlantic states, and a pullback in both consumer confidence and spending. In addition, there were imbalances in some of our merchandise assortments that affected business in certain areas of our stores. To address these issues, we are refining and strengthening our merchandise assortments and maintaining strong expense and inventory controls."
 Ferber continued, "The planned growth in packaway inventory during the first quarter contributed to a significant increase in total inventories over the last year. Packaway purchases are an effective method of increasing the percentage of prestige and national name brands at strong discounts within our merchandise assortments. Despite this growth in total inventories, in-store inventory levels declined 1 percent from the prior year on a comparable store basis at the end of the quarter."
 During the first quarter, Ross opened eight new stores, all in existing markets. Four new Ross 'Dress For Less' locations opened throughout California, in addition to new stores that opened in Philadelphia, Portland, Ore., Phoenix, and McAllen, Texas.
 Ross Stores Inc. operates a national chain of off-price retail stores offering first quality, in-season, branded apparel and apparel- related merchandise for the entire family at prices that average 20- to 60-percent less than department and specialty stores. The company had 231 stores in operation at May 1, 1993, compared to 210 stores at the end of the same period last year.
 ROSS STORES INC.
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
 ($000, except per-share data, unaudited) 13 Weeks Ended
 May 1, May 2,
 1993 1992
 Sales $ 239,552 $ 221,020
 Costs and Expenses
 Cost of goods sold
 and occupancy 172,184 159,260
 General, selling and administrative 55,849 50,936
 Depreciation and amortization 4,895 4,380
 Interest 634 1,021
 Total $ 253,562 $ 215,597
 Earnings before taxes 5,990 5,423
 Provision for taxes on earnings 2,396 2,169
 Net earnings $ 3,594 $ 3,254
 Net earnings per share:
 Primary $ 0.14 $ 0.13
 Fully diluted $ 0.14 $ 0.13
 Weighted average shares outstanding:
 Primary 26,196 25,699
 Fully diluted 26,254 25,736
 Stores open at end of period 231 210
 CONDENSED CONSOLIATED BALANCE SHEETS
 ($000, unaudited)
 May 1, May 2,
 ASSETS 1993 1992
 Current Assets
 Cash $ 14,103 $ 11,475
 Accounts receivable 7,480 6,425
 Merchandise inventory 275,275 223,123
 Other current assets 12,339 11,358
 Total current assets 309,197 252,381
 Property and equipment, net 127,815 125,866
 Lease rights and other assets 14,227 14,259
 Total $ 451,239 $ 392,506
 LIABILITIES AND SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
 Current Liabilities
 Accounts payable, accrued expenses
 and other $ 150,451 $ 132,461
 Income taxes payable 4,977 5,953
 Total current liabilities 155,428 138,414
 Long-term debt 62,772 70,075
 Deferred income taxes and
 other liabilities 19,960 15,589
 Stockholders' equity $ 213,079 $ 168,428
 Total $ 451,239 $ 392,506
 -0- 5/17/93
 /CONTACT: Earl T. Benson, senior vice president and chief financial officer, 510-505-4400; or Katie Loughnot, director of Investor Relations, 510-505-4509/
 (ROST)


CO: Ross Stores Inc. ST: California IN: REA SU: ERN

SG-LM -- SF001 -- 9018 05/17/93 08:34 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 17, 1993
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