TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC lessened its holdings in Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) by 4.4% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,667,481 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after selling 76,275 shares during the period. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC owned approximately 0.44% of Ross Stores worth $133,815,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of ROST. Cerebellum GP LLC purchased a new position in shares of Ross Stores during the 4th quarter valued at $132,000. Zions Bancorporation grew its position in Ross Stores by 338.9% in the third quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,120 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $137,000 after acquiring an additional 1,637 shares in the last quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. grew its position in Ross Stores by 255.1% in the fourth quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. now owns 1,900 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $152,000 after acquiring an additional 1,365 shares in the last quarter. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd purchased a new position in Ross Stores in the fourth quarter worth $159,000. Finally, Financial Gravity Companies Inc. purchased a new position in Ross Stores in the fourth quarter worth $164,000. 89.58% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Several equities analysts have recently commented on ROST shares. BidaskClub raised shares of Ross Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. Credit Suisse Group started coverage on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Monday, March 12th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $88.00 price target for the company. Nomura reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $90.00 target price (up previously from $80.00) on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Wednesday, January 17th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Buckingham Research reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $86.00 price target (up previously from $82.00) on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Wednesday, March 7th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $81.86.
Shares of NASDAQ:ROST traded down $2.32 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $77.45. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,053,746 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,667,887. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10, a quick ratio of 0.78 and a current ratio of 1.64. The firm has a market cap of $29,331.32, a P/E ratio of 23.19, a P/E/G ratio of 1.92 and a beta of 1.08. Ross Stores has a 52 week low of $52.85 and a 52 week high of $85.66.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, March 6th. The apparel retailer reported $0.98 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $4.07 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.95 billion. Ross Stores had a net margin of 9.64% and a return on equity of 44.53%. research analysts predict that Ross Stores will post 4.03 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 30th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 19th were issued a $0.225 dividend. This is an increase from Ross Stores’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.16%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, March 16th. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is 26.95%.
Ross Stores announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, March 6th that allows the company to repurchase $200.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the apparel retailer to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
In related news, insider Bernard G. Brautigan sold 8,587 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.80, for a total transaction of $659,481.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 193,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,829,235.20. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Chairman Michael Balmuth sold 59,777 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $76.53, for a total transaction of $4,574,733.81. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 196,751 shares of company stock worth $15,084,913 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.
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Ross Stores Profile
Ross Stores, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores under the Ross Dress for Less and dd's DISCOUNTS brand names in the United States. It primarily offers apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions. The company's Ross Dress for Less stores sell its products at savings of 20% to 60% off department and specialty store regular prices primarily to middle income households; and dd's DISCOUNTS stores sell its products at savings of 20% to 70% off moderate department and discount store regular prices to customers from households with moderate income.
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