Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Ross Stores outperformed the broader industry in the past month. It has a 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.”

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on ROST. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $63.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Tuesday. MKM Partners boosted their target price on shares of Ross Stores from $77.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, August 18th. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Tuesday. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $74.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Cowen and Company reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $55.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Friday, August 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $69.84.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ ROST) traded up 1.48% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $61.57. 1,389,704 shares of the stock traded hands. Ross Stores has a 12 month low of $52.85 and a 12 month high of $69.81. The company has a market cap of $23.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.33 and a beta of 1.09. The company’s 50 day moving average is $56.66 and its 200 day moving average is $61.07.

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

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Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ROST. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 1,908.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,454,293 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $1,742,545,000 after acquiring an additional 25,137,186 shares during the period. Flossbach Von Storch AG raised its stake in shares of 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 valued at $288,666,000 after acquiring an additional 4,933,020 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in shares of 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 valued at $112,149,000 after acquiring an additional 1,888,715 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 68.4% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 4,604,774 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $265,834,000 after acquiring an additional 1,870,314 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 393.0% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,573,128 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $90,817,000 after acquiring an additional 1,254,028 shares during the period. 89.62% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST)

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