Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has $72.00 price target on the apparel retailer’s stock.
According to Zacks, “Ross Stores has been gaining from the favorable response of value-focused customers to its extensive collection of brands and solid cost controls. Though Ross Stores expects to face obstacles related to strong comparisons, amid macroeconomic uncertainty and a competitive retail landscape, it remains confident of performing well in the year ahead. This is also highlighted by the robust third and fourth quarter view provided with its second quarter results. Also, Ross's solid financial status, ongoing merchandise initiatives and consistent focus on store expansion bode well. Evidently, the company recently achieved its expansion target for the second quarter, which also marked the second leg of expansion under the company's fiscal 2016 plan of adding nearly 90 stores. At the same time, however, over-expansion in new domestic markets may invite the threat of cannibalization. Estimates have been stable ahead of its third-quarter results.”
Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on ROST. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price objective on Ross Stores from $56.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a sector perform rating in a report on Friday, August 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price target on Ross Stores from $51.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Wedbush lifted their price target on Ross Stores from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Cowen and Company lifted their price target on Ross Stores from $61.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a hold rating on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Friday, August 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $65.25.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) opened at 64.28 on Wednesday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $63.20 and its 200-day moving average price is $58.69. The company has a market capitalization of $25.49 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.47 and a beta of 0.94. Ross Stores has a 52 week low of $43.47 and a 52 week high of $66.28.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The apparel retailer reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.04. The business earned $3.18 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.13 billion. Ross Stores had a return on equity of 42.01% and a net margin of 8.55%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.63 EPS. Equities analysts forecast that Ross Stores will post $2.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were paid a dividend of $0.135 per share. This represents a $0.54 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 20.53%.
In other news, Director Gregory L. Quesnel sold 16,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.39, for a total value of $1,030,240.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 19,370 shares in the company, valued at $1,247,234.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Barbara Rentler sold 12,840 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.76, for a total value of $818,678.40. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 542,851 shares in the company, valued at $34,612,179.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Evercore Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 29.1% in the second quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,929 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 435 shares during the last quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. bought a new stake in shares of Ross Stores during the first quarter valued at about $140,000. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 0.7% in the second quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 2,605 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 17 shares during the last quarter. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ross Stores during the second quarter valued at about $151,000. Finally, Citizens Financial Group Inc RI boosted its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 51.6% in the first quarter. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI now owns 2,737 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $159,000 after buying an additional 931 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.21% of the company’s stock.
About Ross Stores
Ross Stores, Inc is an off-price retailer of name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions for the entire family. The Company operates two brands of off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores, Ross Dress for Less (Ross) and dd’s DISCOUNTS. As of December 31, 2014, the Company operated 1,210 Ross locations in 33 states, the District of Columbia and Guam, and 152 dd’s DISCOUNTS stores in 15 states.
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