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Ross Stores post Q1 up on strong sales

BY CSA STAFF

Pleasanton, Calif. Ross Stores said Thursday that its fiscal first-quarter profit rose to $142.3 million, from $91.4 million a year earlier.

Sales for the 13 weeks ended May 1, grew 14% to $1.935 billion, with same-store store sales up 10% on top of a 3% gain in the prior year.

Michael Balmuth, vice chairman and CEO, said, “We are very pleased with our exceptional first-quarter performance, which was driven by robust sales gains and record levels of profitability that were well ahead of plan. We believe our results continue to benefit from the superior execution of our off-price strategies combined with our favorable position as a value retailer in the current economic and retail environment.”

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Toys’R’Us raises $1.8M for Autism Speaks

BY CSA STAFF

WAYNE, N.J. Toys“R”Us, U.S. announced that its fourth annual nationwide in-store fundraising campaign to benefit Autism Speaks, North America’s largest autism science and advocacy organization, raised nearly $1.8 million.

“For the fourth consecutive year, our customers and employees demonstrated their desire to help solve the autism puzzle by generously supporting our campaign to benefit Autism Speaks,” said Jerry Storch, chairman and CEO of Toys“R”Us. “At Toys“R”Us, we are committed to improving the lives of children and families in need, and we’re proud that our efforts will help Autism Speaks fund much-needed research, as well as advocacy efforts.”

During the campaign, the company said it created several programs to help parents and caregivers of children with autism. In collaboration with Autism Speaks and the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for children with disabilities, the company identified toys that can help children with autism develop crucial skills while playing alongside siblings and friends.  The “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism,” a special subset of the annual Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids, provides toy suggestions specifically for families and friends of children with autism.  With guidance from leading safety organizations and Autism Speaks, Toys“R”Us also developed Safe Play Tips that are relevant for children with autism. The “Ten Toys That Speak To Autism” and Safe Play Tips are available year-round at Toysrus.com/AutismSpeaks. 

Since the partnership launched in 2007, Toys“R”Us, the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund and customer contributions have combined to provide Autism Speaks with more than $8.4 million. 

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BJ’s quarterly income up, raises FY guidance

BY CSA STAFF

NATICK, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club reported net income for the first quarter of 2010 of $26.1 million, or 49 cents per diluted share. For the first quarter of 2009, the company reported net income of $24.3 million, or 45 cents per diluted share.

Net sales for the first quarter of 2010 increased by 12.9% to $2.55 billion and comparable-club sales increased by 7.8%, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 3.6%. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales increased by 4.2%. Net sales for the first quarter of 2009 increased by 0.2% to $2.26 billion and comparabl- club sales decreased by 1.5%, including the negative impact from sales of gasoline of 9%. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales increased by 7.5%.

The company also announced revised earnings guidance. For the year ending Jan. 29, 2011, the company now expects to report earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.58 to $2.68 and net income in the range of $136.9 million to $141.9 million. Previous guidance was for earnings per diluted share in the range of $2.54 to $2.64 and net income in the range of $133.1 million to $138.1 million.

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