Today: Today, Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) Cut to Hold at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) Cut to Hold at The Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Ross Stores reported a robust third-quarter fiscal 2016, wherein both top and the bottom lines beat our estimates as well as the company’s projections. Moreover, earnings and sales improved year over year. The strong results stemmed from impressive dd’s DISCOUNT performance as well as the improvement made in the ladies’ apparel business as customers favorably responded to its improved merchandise. Though Ross Stores expects to face challenges related to strong comparisons, amid macroeconomic uncertainty and a volatile retail landscape, it remains confident of performing well in the upcoming holiday season. While the company trimmed its fourth quarter earnings guidance due to the aforementioned headwinds, it raised its earnings forecast for fiscal 2016 on the back of solid year-to-date results. The company’s solid financial status, ongoing merchandise initiatives and consistent focus on store expansion bode well.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Vetr cut shares of Ross Stores from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $65.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, August 15th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $57.00 target price (up from $51.00) on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Friday, August 19th. Buckingham Research raised shares of Ross Stores from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Bank of America Corp. set a $70.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, September 12th. Finally, Guggenheim reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $70.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Friday, September 30th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ross Stores presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $67.39.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) opened at 69.25 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $63.97 and its 200 day moving average is $60.22. The stock has a market capitalization of $27.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.46 and a beta of 0.94. Ross Stores has a 12-month low of $49.06 and a 12-month high of $69.81.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, November 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.62 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.56 by $0.06. The business had revenue of $3.10 billion for the quarter. Ross Stores had a net margin of 8.58% and a return on equity of 42.09%. The business’s revenue was up 10.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.53 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Ross Stores will post $2.81 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 30th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, December 7th will be issued a dividend of $0.135 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, December 5th. This represents a $0.54 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.78%. Ross Stores’s payout ratio is currently 19.85%.

In related news, CEO Barbara Rentler sold 12,840 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.76, for a total transaction of $818,678.40. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 542,851 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $34,612,179.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider James S. Fassio sold 12,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.35, for a total transaction of $760,200.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds 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 worth $109,000 after buying an additional 435 shares during the period. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust increased its stake in Ross Stores by 0.3% in the third quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 1,792 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $115,000 after buying an additional 6 shares during the period. Baldwin Brothers Inc. MA acquired a new stake in Ross Stores during the third quarter worth about $120,000. Sandy Spring Bank increased its stake in Ross Stores by 190.3% in the third quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 2,032 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 1,332 shares during the period. Finally, 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 worth $147,000 after buying an additional 17 shares during the period. 88.94% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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