Shares of Ross Stores Inc. rose more than 3% late Thursday after the retailer reported first-quarter earnings above expectations and sales that met expectations. Ross said it earned $321 million, or 82 cents a share, in the fiscal first quarter, compared with $291 million, or 73 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Sales rose 7% to $3.3 billion, the company said, while comparable-store sales were up 3%. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected Ross to report per-share earnings of 80 cents a share on sales of $3.27 billion. Ross said it expects same-store sales to be up 1% to 2% in the second quarter, and earnings per share of 73 cents to 76 cents for the quarter. The company forecast full-year earnings to range between $3.07 to $3.17 a share, compared to $2.83 a share last year. Ross shares ended the regular trading session down 0.7%.
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