Private Advisor Group LLC reduced its stake in Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) by 1.4% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 18,031 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after selling 247 shares during the period. Private Advisor Group LLC’s holdings in Ross Stores were worth $1,679,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Bollard Group LLC bought a new position in Ross Stores in the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. CI Investments Inc. bought a new position in Ross Stores in the 4th quarter worth about $26,000. First Manhattan Co. bought a new position in Ross Stores in the 1st quarter worth about $27,000. Athena Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Ross Stores in the 4th quarter worth about $29,000. Finally, Berman Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Ross Stores in the 4th quarter worth about $32,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.96% of the company’s stock.
In related news, insider Bernard G. Brautigan sold 19,384 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.56, for a total transaction of $1,813,567.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Michael Balmuth sold 81,049 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.87, for a total transaction of $7,527,020.63. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 192,414 shares of company stock valued at $17,699,558 in the last three months. 2.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
NASDAQ:ROST traded up $0.40 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $98.87. 912,342 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,324,913. Ross Stores, Inc. has a 12-month low of $75.91 and a 12-month high of $104.35. The company has a quick ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87. The stock has a market capitalization of $36.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.21, a PEG ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.89.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, May 23rd. The apparel retailer reported $1.13 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ross Stores had a net margin of 10.47% and a return on equity of 48.92%. The company had revenue of $3.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.11 earnings per share. Ross Stores’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that Ross Stores, Inc. will post 4.51 EPS for the current year.
Ross Stores announced that its board has approved a share buyback plan on Tuesday, March 5th that permits the company to buyback $2.55 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the apparel retailer to reacquire up to 7.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 28th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 11th will be given a dividend of $0.255 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 10th. This represents a $1.02 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.03%. Ross Stores’s payout ratio is 23.94%.
ROST has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and issued a $105.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Tuesday, March 5th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Ross Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ross Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 13th. DA Davidson increased their price objective on shares of Ross Stores to $92.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 7th. Finally, Robert W. Baird started coverage on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Monday, May 13th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $108.00 price objective on the stock. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company. Ross Stores presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $98.13.
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About Ross Stores
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 brands. Its stores primarily offers apparel, accessories, footwear, and home fashions. The company's Ross Dress for Less stores sell its products at department and specialty stores primarily to middle income households; and dd's DISCOUNTS stores sell its products at department and discount stores regular prices to customers from households with moderate income.
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