Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Thursday. They currently have $66.00 target price on the apparel retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Ross Stores has outperformed the broader industry in the past year, given its positive record of earnings surprises in 12 of the trailing 13 quarters. In second-quarter fiscal 2017, both the top and bottom lines topped estimates and improved year over year. Results gained from solid top-line growth that was driven by broad-based growth across all merchandise categories and regions. Further, better-than-expected sales and operating profits at dd's DISCOUNTS aided results. Concluding first-half fiscal 2017 on a strong note, the company provided guidance for the second half and accordingly raised earnings view for fiscal 2017. This led to an uptrend in estimates for fiscal 2017. Moreover, its solid financial status, ongoing merchandise initiatives and consistent focus on store expansion bode well. However, the company anticipates witnessing the most challenging year-ago comparisons in second-half fiscal 2017, alongside a volatile retail backdrop.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the company. MKM Partners increased their price target on Ross Stores from $77.00 to $78.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Instinet reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Sunday, August 20th. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Sunday, August 20th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $75.00 price target on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price target on Ross Stores and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Ross Stores has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $69.61.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) traded up 0.80% during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $58.92. The company had a trading volume of 2,751,772 shares. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $55.99 and a 200 day moving average price of $61.52. Ross Stores has a 52-week low of $52.85 and a 52-week high of $69.81. The company has a market capitalization of $22.57 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.46 and a beta of 1.08.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.77 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $3.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.37 billion. Ross Stores had a return on equity of 42.95% and a net margin of 8.87%. Ross Stores’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.71 EPS. On average, analysts forecast that Ross Stores will post $3.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.16 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, September 6th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.09%. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is presently 21.12%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Ross Stores by 1,908.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,454,293 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $1,742,545,000 after buying an additional 25,137,186 shares in the last quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG increased its position in Ross Stores by 7,335.3% in the second quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG now owns 5,000,270 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $288,666,000 after buying an additional 4,933,020 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in Ross Stores by 3,501.6% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,942,654 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $112,149,000 after buying an additional 1,888,715 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in Ross Stores by 68.4% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 4,604,774 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $265,834,000 after buying an additional 1,870,314 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in Ross Stores by 393.0% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,573,128 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $90,817,000 after buying an additional 1,254,028 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.63% of the company’s stock.

About Ross Stores

Ross Stores, Inc and its subsidiaries operate two brands of off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores-Ross Dress for Less (Ross) and dd’s DISCOUNTS. The Company is the off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the United States, with 1,340 locations in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Guam, as of January 28, 2017.

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Analyst Recommendations for Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST)

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