Shares of Ross Stores Inc. rose Thursday after the retailer reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings. Ross said its first-quarter profit rose to $282.2 million, or $1.37 a share, from $243.9 million, or $1.15 a share, a year earlier. Excluding the benefit of packaway-related costs, Ross would have earned $1.33 a share, better than the $1.28 a share forecast by analysts in a FactSet survey. Sales grew 10% to $2.94 billion. For the second quarter, Ross projected same-store sales to rise 2% to 3% and earnings per share in a range of $1.19 to $1.24. Accounting for the two-for-one stock split scheduled in June, second-quarter EPS are likely to be 59 cents to 62 cents. Ross shares rose 0.9% in extended trade.
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