Today, Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Today, Ross Stores Inc. (ROST) Upgraded to “Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday morning. They currently have $72.00 price objective on the apparel retailer’s stock.

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.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on ROST. Royal Bank Of Canada upped 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. upped 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 upped their target price on Ross Stores from $65.00 to $67.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Friday, August 19th. Cowen and Company upped their target price on Ross Stores from $61.00 to $63.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 13th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Friday, August 19th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $65.25.

Shares of Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) traded down 0.36% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $64.25. The stock had a trading volume of 819,615 shares. The stock has a market cap of $25.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.46 and a beta of 0.94. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $63.11 and a 200-day moving average price of $58.61. Ross Stores has a 12-month low of $43.47 and a 12-month high of $66.28.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 18th. The apparel retailer reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.67 by $0.04. Ross Stores had a return on equity of 42.01% and a net margin of 8.55%. The firm had revenue of $3.18 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.13 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $0.63 EPS. Ross Stores’s revenue was up 7.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Ross Stores will post $2.75 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 30th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 2nd were issued a $0.135 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 31st. This represents a $0.54 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.84%. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is currently 20.53%.

In other Ross Stores news, Director Gregory L. Quesnel sold 16,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.39, for a total value of $1,030,240.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 19,370 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,247,234.30. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director George Orban sold 56,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 506,750 shares in the company, valued at approximately $29,148,260. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 2.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Evercore Wealth Management LLC boosted 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. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. acquired a new stake in Ross Stores during the first quarter worth $140,000. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. boosted 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. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. acquired a new stake in Ross Stores during the second quarter worth $151,000. Finally, Citizens Financial Group Inc RI boosted 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 worth $159,000 after buying an additional 931 shares during the period. 90.21% of the stock is currently 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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