Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold
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 research analysts also recently issued reports on ROST. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a buy rating on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Tuesday, June 14th. Miller Tabak initiated coverage on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Friday, June 24th. They set a buy rating and a $66.00 price objective for the company. Vetr downgraded shares of Ross Stores from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $60.50 price objective for the company. in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Cowen and Company raised their price objective on shares of Ross Stores from $61.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a hold rating on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $65.25.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) remained flat at $64.37 during midday trading on Thursday. The company had a trading volume of 926,408 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $63.16 and its 200 day moving average price is $58.65. Ross Stores has a 12-month low of $43.47 and a 12-month high of $66.28. The company has a market capitalization of $25.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.50 and a beta of 0.94.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last issued its earnings results 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. Ross Stores had a net margin of 8.55% and a return on equity of 42.01%. The business earned $3.18 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.13 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.63 EPS. Ross Stores’s revenue was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Ross Stores will post $2.75 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were given a dividend of $0.135 per share. This represents a $0.54 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.84%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. Ross Stores’s payout ratio is presently 20.53%.
In other news, CEO Barbara Rentler sold 20,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.54, for a total transaction of $1,250,800.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Gregory L. Quesnel sold 16,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.39, for a total transaction of $1,030,240.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 19,370 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,247,234.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Picton Mahoney Asset Management acquired a new stake in Ross Stores during the first quarter valued at approximately $8,573,000. M&T Bank Corp increased its stake in Ross Stores by 14.5% in the first quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 107,083 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $6,200,000 after buying an additional 13,559 shares during the last quarter. Menta Capital LLC increased its stake in Ross Stores by 11.5% in the first quarter. Menta Capital LLC now owns 11,600 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $672,000 after buying an additional 1,200 shares during the last quarter. Advisor Partners LLC acquired a new stake in Ross Stores during the first quarter valued at approximately $235,000. Finally, Bessemer Group Inc. increased its stake in Ross Stores by 4.7% in the first quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 22,118 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $1,281,000 after buying an additional 985 shares during the last quarter. 90.21% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Ross Stores Company Profile
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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