This excerpt taken from the ROST 8-K filed Nov 15, 2005.
Fiscal 2006 Outlook
In commenting on the Companys outlook for 2006, Mr. Balmuth continued, We are now planning total unit growth of about 8% in fiscal 2006, consisting of approximately 55 net new Ross locations and about five additional dds DISCOUNTS® stores, followed by forecasted unit growth of approximately 9% for fiscal 2007. As we concentrate on improving our ability to meet customer needs at a more local level, we plan to focus this expansion in the regions we already serve. Our objective is to improve store sales productivity, especially in our newer markets, before we further pressure profit margins by entering any major new regions. We believe this more focused growth strategy will enhance our ability to realize improved store sales productivity and profitability across all markets, enabling us to balance growth with improvement in operating margins and overall returns.
Mr. Balmuth concluded, Based on our updated store growth assumptions for fiscal 2006, along with our projection for same store sales gains of 3% to 4% and gradual improvement in operating margin, our preliminary forecast is for earnings per share for the 53 weeks ending February 3, 2007 to be in the range of $1.60 to $1.70. This preliminary forecasted earnings range for fiscal 2006 includes the estimated earnings benefit of about $.06 to $.07 from the 53rd week in 2006, but does not include the projected non-cash earnings impact related to adoption of FAS 123(R), Share-Based Payment.
The Company will provide additional details concerning its third quarter results and business outlook on a conference call to be held on Tuesday, November 15, 2005 at 12:00 noon Eastern time. Participants may listen to a real time audio webcast of the conference call by visiting the Companys website located at www.rossstores.com. A recorded version of the call will also be available until the end of the fourth quarter at the website address and via a telephone recording through November 22, 2005 at 402-220-5900, PIN #2342.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release and the recorded comments and transcript on the Companys website contain forward-looking statements regarding expected sales and earnings levels that are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause the Companys actual results to differ materially from managements current expectations. The words plan, expect, anticipate, estimate, believe, forecast, projected, guidance, looking ahead and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements. Risk factors for Ross Stores and dds DISCOUNTS® include, without limitation, the Companys ability to effectively operate and integrate various new supply chain and core merchandising systems, including generation of all necessary information in a timely and cost effective manner; achieving and maintaining targeted levels of productivity and efficiency in its distribution centers; obtaining acceptable new store locations; competitive pressures in the apparel industry; changes in the level of consumer spending on or preferences for apparel or home-related merchandise; changes in geopolitical and general economic conditions; unseasonable weather trends; disruptions in supply chain; lower than planned gross margin, including higher than planned markdowns and higher than expected inventory shortage; and greater than planned operating costs. Other risk factors are detailed in the Companys SEC filings including, without limitation, the Form 10-K for fiscal 2004 and the Form 10-Qs and Form 8-Ks for fiscal 2005. The factors underlying our forecasts are dynamic and subject to change. As a result, our forecasts speak only as of the date they are given and do not necessarily reflect the Companys outlook at any other point in time. The Company does not undertake to update or revise these forward-looking statements.
* * * * *
Ross Stores, Inc., a Fortune 500 and Nasdaq 100 (ROST) company headquartered in Pleasanton, California, is the nations second largest off-price company with fiscal 2004 revenues of $4.2 billion. As of October 29, 2005, the Company operated 715 Ross stores and 20 dds DISCOUNTS® locations, compared to 641 Ross stores and 10 dds DISCOUNTS® locations at the end of the same period last year. Ross Stores offers first-quality, in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 60 percent off department and specialty store regular prices. dds DISCOUNTS® features a more moderately-priced assortment of first-quality, in-season, name brand apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20 to 70 percent off moderate department and discount store regular prices. Additional information is available on the Companys website at www.rossstores.com.
* * * *