Ross Stores (ROST) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Buy” by Analysts

Shares of Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) have been assigned an average rating of “Buy” from the twenty-five research firms that are presently covering the company, MarketBeat reports. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and seventeen have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price target among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $82.52.

A number of research firms have commented on ROST. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Ross Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 24th. Nomura restated a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 price target (up from $80.00) on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $82.00 price target on shares of Ross Stores and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Bank of America set a $94.00 price target on shares of Ross Stores and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and set a $78.00 price target on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th.

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NASDAQ:ROST traded up $0.06 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $78.83. The stock had a trading volume of 1,242,932 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,639,203. The company has a market cap of $29,378.10, a PE ratio of 23.66, a P/E/G ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 1.08. Ross Stores has a 52 week low of $52.85 and a 52 week high of $85.66. The company has a quick ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 1.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, March 6th. The apparel retailer reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $4.07 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.95 billion. Ross Stores had a net margin of 9.64% and a return on equity of 44.53%. equities analysts anticipate that Ross Stores will post 4.06 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 30th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 19th were given a $0.225 dividend. This is an increase from Ross Stores’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.14%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, March 16th. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 26.95%.

Ross Stores declared that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, March 6th that permits the company to repurchase $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the apparel retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, CEO Barbara Rentler sold 32,430 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.53, for a total transaction of $2,579,157.90. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 534,318 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $42,494,310.54. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP Michael J. Hartshorn sold 3,361 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.94, for a total transaction of $258,595.34. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 79,158 shares in the company, valued at $6,090,416.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 256,652 shares of company stock worth $19,829,016. 2.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. grew its position in Ross Stores by 63.4% in the fourth quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 5,456,503 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $437,885,000 after acquiring an additional 2,117,771 shares in the last quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. bought a new stake in Ross Stores in the fourth quarter worth approximately $117,845,000. Millennium Management LLC grew its position in Ross Stores by 58.1% in the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 2,005,253 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $160,922,000 after acquiring an additional 736,599 shares in the last quarter. Element Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Ross Stores in the fourth quarter worth approximately $49,775,000. Finally, Teacher Retirement System of Texas grew its position in Ross Stores by 148.0% in the fourth quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 642,799 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $51,585,000 after acquiring an additional 383,590 shares in the last quarter. 90.41% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Ross Stores

Ross Stores, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores under the Ross Dress for Less and dd's DISCOUNTS brand names in the United States. It primarily offers apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions. The company's Ross Dress for Less stores sell its products at savings of 20% to 60% off department and specialty store regular prices primarily to middle income households; and dd's DISCOUNTS stores sell its products at savings of 20% to 70% off moderate department and discount store regular prices to customers from households with moderate income.

Analyst Recommendations for Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST)

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