Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research
Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $72.00 target price on the apparel retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 12.04% from the stock’s current price.
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 research analysts have also recently commented on ROST. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. Miller Tabak initiated coverage on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Friday, June 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $66.00 price target for the company. Vetr cut shares of Ross Stores from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.50 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, June 27th. Cowen and Company increased their price target on shares of Ross Stores from $61.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Thursday, July 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $65.25.
Shares of Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) traded up 0.475% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $64.565. 1,353,571 shares of the stock traded hands. Ross Stores has a one year low of $43.47 and a one year high of $66.28. The company’s 50 day moving average is $63.03 and its 200 day moving average is $58.56. The firm has a market capitalization of $25.61 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.577 and a beta of 0.94.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 18th. The apparel retailer reported $0.71 EPS for the quarter, topping 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 analysts’ expectations of $3.13 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.63 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Ross Stores will post $2.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Investors of record on Friday, September 2nd were given a dividend of $0.135 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.54 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.84%. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is presently 20.53%.
In related news, insider James S. Fassio sold 12,000 shares of Ross Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.35, for a total transaction of $760,200.00. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director George Orban sold 56,000 shares of Ross Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.52, for a total transaction of $3,221,120.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 506,750 shares in the company, valued at $29,148,260. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Evercore Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in Ross Stores by 29.1% in the second quarter. Evercore Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,929 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 435 shares in the last quarter. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. acquired a new stake in Ross Stores during the first quarter valued at approximately $140,000. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. increased its stake in Ross Stores by 0.7% in the second quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 2,605 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. acquired a new stake in Ross Stores during the second quarter valued at approximately $151,000. Finally, Citizens Financial Group Inc RI increased its stake in Ross Stores by 51.6% in the first quarter. Citizens Financial Group Inc RI now owns 2,737 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $159,000 after buying an additional 931 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.21% of the company’s stock.
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.
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