Strs Ohio decreased its position in Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) by 26.2% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 694,212 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after selling 246,633 shares during the period. Strs Ohio’s holdings in Ross Stores were worth $39,354,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of Ross Stores by 32.9% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 6,358,644 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $368,167,000 after buying an additional 1,575,465 shares during the period. Virginia Retirement System bought a new position in shares of Ross Stores during the first quarter valued at $32,251,000. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in shares of Ross Stores by 4.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 10,995,554 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $636,643,000 after buying an additional 517,305 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Ross Stores by 33.8% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 1,975,906 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $114,405,000 after buying an additional 499,451 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD increased its position in shares of Ross Stores by 14.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 3,885,806 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $224,988,000 after buying an additional 485,620 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 89.55% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) traded up 0.99% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $63.98. The stock had a trading volume of 2,083,184 shares. The firm has a market cap of $25.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.35 and a beta of 0.84. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $62.55 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.21. Ross Stores Inc. has a 1-year low of $43.47 and a 1-year high of $66.28.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 18th. The apparel retailer reported $0.71 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.04. The business earned $3.18 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.13 billion. Ross Stores had a return on equity of 42.01% and a net margin of 8.55%. The company’s revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.63 EPS. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Ross Stores Inc. will post $2.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 30th. Stockholders of record on Friday, September 2nd will be paid 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 is Wednesday, August 31st. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is presently 20.53%.

Several brokerages have weighed in on ROST. Piper Jaffray Cos. downgraded Ross Stores from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and set a $55.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, May 26th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their target price on Ross Stores from $56.00 to $65.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their target price on Ross Stores from $51.00 to $66.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Wedbush lifted their price target on Ross Stores from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Finally, Cowen and Company lifted their price target on Ross Stores from $61.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Ross Stores currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $65.09.

In other news, CEO Barbara Rentler sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.54, for a total transaction of $1,250,800.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director George Orban sold 56,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.52, for a total value of $3,221,120.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 506,750 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $29,148,260. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

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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