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

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

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.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on the company. Sanford C. Bernstein began coverage on Ross Stores in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. They set an outperform rating and a $74.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC restated a hold rating and set a $63.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 target price on Ross Stores and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Sunday, September 10th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a buy rating and set a $75.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Finally, Bank of America Corporation restated a buy rating and set a $80.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Sunday, August 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Ross Stores currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $70.00.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) opened at 60.71 on Wednesday. Ross Stores has a 12 month low of $52.85 and a 12 month high of $69.81. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.25 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.05 and a beta of 1.09. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $57.43 and a 200 day moving average price of $60.95.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.05. Ross Stores had a return on equity of 42.95% and a net margin of 8.87%. The firm had revenue of $3.43 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.37 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.71 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Ross Stores will post $3.23 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 7th will be paid a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 6th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.05%. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 21.12%.

In other Ross Stores 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 transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America grew its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 0.7% during the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,529 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $101,000 after purchasing an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Balentine LLC grew its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 0.3% during the second quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,775 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $102,000 after purchasing an additional 5 shares in the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC grew its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 89.2% during the first quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC now owns 1,646 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $108,000 after purchasing an additional 776 shares in the last quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust grew its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 3.4% during the second quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 1,868 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $108,000 after purchasing an additional 61 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parallel Advisors LLC grew its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 39.1% during the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 1,701 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 478 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 89.62% of the company’s stock.

Ross Stores Company Profile

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.

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