Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $69.00 target price on the apparel retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 12.34% from the stock’s current price.

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 research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Ross Stores from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 17th. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $67.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $69.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Monday, May 22nd. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group raised shares of Ross Stores from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $70.00.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) traded down 1.34% during trading on Thursday, reaching $60.59. 938,242 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Ross Stores has a 52 week low of $52.85 and a 52 week high of $69.81. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $56.87 and its 200-day moving average price is $61.01. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.21 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.01 and a beta of 1.09.

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

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In other news, CEO Barbara Rentler sold 15,492 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $945,012.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 2.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ROST. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in Ross Stores by 1,908.5% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,454,293 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $1,742,545,000 after acquiring an additional 25,137,186 shares during the period. Flossbach Von Storch AG increased its position in Ross Stores by 7,335.3% during the second quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG now owns 5,000,270 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $288,666,000 after acquiring an additional 4,933,020 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its position in Ross Stores by 3,501.6% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,942,654 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $112,149,000 after acquiring an additional 1,888,715 shares during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in Ross Stores by 68.4% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 4,604,774 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $265,834,000 after acquiring an additional 1,870,314 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in Ross Stores by 393.0% during the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,573,128 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $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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