Shares of Ross Stores Inc. rose 2% in the extended session Thursday after the retailer reported third-quarter profit and same-store sales above expectations. Ross said it earned $371 million, or $1.03 a share, in the quarter, compared with $338 million, or 91 cents a share, in the same period last year. Sales rose to $3.8 billion, compared with $3.5 billion a year ago. Comparable-store sales rose 5% on top of last year’s gain of 3%, Ross Stores said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 98 cents on sales of $3.8 billion. The analysts had expected same-store sales 2.8% higher. As the holiday season begins Ross is “up against multiple years of strong comparable-store sales gains,” and “another fiercely competitive retail landscape,” Chief Executive Barbara Rentler said in a statement. “As such, while we hope to do better, we continue to project fourth quarter comparable store sales gains of 1% to 2% versus a 4% increase last year.” Ross kept its fourth-quarter EPS guidance between $1.20 and $1.25 and said it expects fiscal 2019 EPS between $4.52 and $4.57, up from $4.26 in fiscal 2018. Shares of Ross had ended the regular trading day up 1.2%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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