Ross shares plunge after sales miss views

Pleasanton-based Ross said its same-store sales rose 4 percent in October, slightly below what Wall Street expected, causing the retailer's shares to slump 6.3 percent Thursday.

The report was the last month before the start in a few weeks of the crucial holiday shopping season. The discount apparel retailer's shares fell $3.82 and finished at $57.13.

Ross now expects per-share earnings for the recently completed quarter that ended Oct. 27 to range from 71 cents to 72 cents. That is slightly above the retailer's previous guidance of 70 to 71 cents a share.

Thoratec sales and profit soar

Pleasanton-based Thoratec posted big gains in profit and sales for the quarter that ended in September, the heart pump maker reported Thursday.

For the July-September third quarter, Thoratec earned $24.3 million on sales of $117.8 million. Compared with the year-ago quarter, profit jumped 27.9 percent and revenue rose 14.8 percent. The results beat Wall Street's expectations.

Thoratec also offered a brighter view for the full 2012 fiscal year. The company predicted per-share profit would range from $1.79 to $1.83, above analysts' estimates of $1.74 a share. Revenue, Thoratec said, should range from $477 million to $483 million, well ahead of Wall Street's view of $471 million in revenue.

-- Staff

Chevron faces more litigation over Ecuador

San Ramon-based Chevron faces more litigation over pollution in the Amazon jungles of Ecuador.

The winners of a $19 billion environmental judgment against Chevron are attempting to persuade courts in Argentina to freeze $2 billion in Chevron assets, citing a treaty Argentina signed that allows for the automatic freezing of assets of defendants who refuse to pay final court judgments.

Chevron is refusing to pay, saying fraud marked the trial and that Texaco Petroleum mitigated the environmental damage long before it became a Chevron subsidiary.

-- Associated Press