Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) updated its fourth quarter earnings guidance on Thursday. The company provided earnings per share guidance of $0.72-0.75 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate of $0.75.

A number of research firms have commented on ROST. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $64.00 price objective on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Monday, August 1st. Buckingham Research raised shares of Ross Stores from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, August 25th. SunTrust Banks Inc. lifted their price objective on shares of Ross Stores from $67.00 to $75.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, August 19th. Citigroup Inc. lifted their price objective on shares of Ross Stores from $65.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, August 19th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Friday, August 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $65.25.

Earnings History and Estimates for Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST)

Shares of Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) opened at 65.53 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $25.99 billion, a PE ratio of 24.94 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $63.47 and a 200 day moving average price of $59.88. Ross Stores Inc. has a 52 week low of $49.06 and a 52 week high of $66.28.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $3.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.96 billion. Ross Stores had a return on equity of 42.01% and a net margin of 8.55%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.53 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Ross Stores Inc. will post $2.75 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 30th. Investors of record on Wednesday, December 7th will be issued a $0.135 dividend. This represents a $0.54 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.82%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 5th. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is 20.53%.

In other Ross Stores news, Director Gregory L. Quesnel sold 16,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the director now owns 19,370 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,247,234.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, CEO Barbara Rentler sold 12,840 shares of the stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 542,851 shares in the company, valued at approximately $34,612,179.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.40% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in Ross Stores by 62.4% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 3,108,460 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $176,219,000 after buying an additional 1,193,928 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Ross Stores by 1.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,003,573 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $56,893,000 after buying an additional 10,465 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE raised its stake in Ross Stores by 127.4% in the second quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 115,699 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $6,559,000 after buying an additional 64,815 shares in the last quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its stake in Ross Stores by 4.0% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 15,609 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $884,000 after buying an additional 597 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Wetherby Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Ross Stores by 1.8% in the second quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 7,661 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $435,000 after buying an additional 135 shares in the last quarter. 89.27% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:ROST

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