Ross profit and sales jump in fourth quarter

Ross Stores posted profit that soared in the fourth quarter -- coinciding with the crucial holiday shopping season -- and the results caused the discount apparel retailer's shares to climb Thursday.

Ross earned $236.6 million on sales of $2.76 billion for the quarter that ended Feb. 2. Compared with the year-ago fourth quarter, profit jumped 23 percent and sales rose 15 percent. Earnings were $1.07 a share.

Shoppers looking for bargains helped fuel the retailer's sales and profit.

The results met Wall Street's expectations of a per-share profit of $1.07 on sales of $2.76 billion.

Pleasanton-based Ross earned $786.8 million on sales of $9.72 billion in fiscal 2012. Compared with fiscal 2011, profit climbed 20 percent and sales rose 13 percent.

Amyris backs Brazil deal on sugarcane mill

Emeryville-based Amyris said a deal to change ownership of a Brazil sugarcane mill will help the company with its biofuels business.

Tonon Bioenergia, a Brazil-based agriculture industrial company has struck a deal to buy the Paraiso Bioenergia sugarcane mill, said Amyris, a renewable chemicals and fuels company. That mill supplies feedstock to Amyris's farnesene production unit, also located in Brazil.


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"Tonon Group's proposed acquisition of the sugarcane feedstock supplier of our Biofene plant underscores the confidence in our business model," said Paul Diniz, president of Amyris Brasil.

Amyris has developed a process to genetically modify molecules from food stocks such as sugarcane to create biofuels and other renewable chemicals.

Pandora available on Windows 8 phone

Oakland-based Pandora Media said its mobile app is being made available on the new Windows Phone platform, the Internet music service announced Thursday.

Pandora listeners on Windows Phone 8 will be able to access personalized radio at no cost, courtesy of Microsoft, through the remainder of 2013.

More than 140 million registered users have accessed Pandora via a smartphone or tablet. More than 75 percent of Pandora's listening occurs on a mobile or other connected device.

More than one out of three smartphone users have listened to Pandora over the past month, Pandora said.

-- Staff