Ross Stores Inc ROST
Q2 2012 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 08/16/2012

Operator: Good morning, and welcome to the Ross Stores Second Quarter 2012 Earnings Release Conference Call. The call will begin with prepared comments by management, followed by a question-and-answer session.

Before we get started on behalf of Ross Stores, I would like to note that the comments made on this call will contain forward-looking statements regarding expectations about future growth and financial results, including sales and earnings forecasts and other matters that are based on the Company's current forecast of aspects of its future business. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from historical performance or current expectations.

Risk factors are included in today's press release and the Company's fiscal 2011 Form 10-K and fiscal 2012 Form 10-Q and 8-Ks on file with the SEC.

Now I'd like to turn the call over to Michael Balmuth, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Michael Balmuth - VC and CEO: Good morning. Joining me on our call today are Norman Ferber, Chairman of the Board; Michael O'Sullivan, President and Chief Operating Officer; Gary Cribb, Executive Vice President, Stores and Loss Prevention; John Call, Group Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Bobbi Chaville, Senior Director of Investor Relations.

Before we review our financial results, I'd like to briefly discuss our recent announcement of an updated CEO succession plan approved by our Board of Directors. As part of this plan and at my request the Board and I have reached an agreement where I will remain with the Company at least till May 2016. My CEO role will be unchanged until June of 2014. I will then become Executive Chairman and the Board will elect a new CEO from our strong bench of very talented and skilled senior executives.

The new CEO will report directly to the Board and take on responsibility for most areas of the Company. As Executive Chairman, I will remain actively involved in the business with property development and dd's DISCOUNTS continuing to report to me. Our Chairman, Norman Ferber, will become Chairman Emeritus with his current role to remain unchanged. The Board and I firmly believe this type of long-term succession plan will allow us to remain focused on executing the strategies that have driven our outstanding financial results over the past several years.

We are also confident this plan will help us continue to maximize future stockholder returns. In a couple of years I will partner with the new CEO to effect a smooth leadership transition. I was able to benefit from this type of mentoring relationship with Norman Ferber who handed the CEO reins to me 16 years ago. To ensure our ongoing success over the long-term, I will continue to stay very engaged with the entire senior management team in setting strategy and direction for the Company. I have been privileged to work with outstanding people of Ross Stores for 23 years and look forward to continuing to do so for many years to come.

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