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Ross Stores beats fiscal Q1 EPS estimates, raises FY'19 outlook

Ross Stores Inc. on May 23 raised its outlook for fiscal 2019 and reported first-quarter earnings that exceeded analysts' expectation.

The California-based off-price retailer now expects EPS for the full year ending Feb. 1, 2020, to come in between $4.38 and $4.52. The retailer previously anticipated EPS in the range of $4.30 to $4.50.

The retailer reported that diluted EPS for the quarter ended May 4 rose to $1.15 from $1.11 in the year-earlier quarter, beating the mean consensus estimate for normalized EPS of $1.12 according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The first-quarter EPS includes an approximate 2 cents per share benefit from the favorable timing of expenses, Ross said.

Net earnings for the first quarter edged up to $421.1 million from $418.3 million in the year-earlier quarter. Ross' sales rose 6% to $3.80 billion from $3.59 billion in the year-ago period while comparable sales grew 2%.

Ross CEO Barbara Rentler said Ross' earnings and sales growth came "despite continued underperformance in ladies apparel."

For the second quarter of fiscal 2019, Ross expects EPS between $1.06 and $1.11, up from $1.04 in the prior-year period. The company said it expects second-quarter same-store sales growth of 1% to 2%.