The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company decreased its holdings in shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) by 33.6% in the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 431,779 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after selling 218,879 shares during the quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company’s holdings in Ross Stores were worth $40,199,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of ROST. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its position in shares of Ross Stores by 8,178.6% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 13,859,040 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $167,000 after acquiring an additional 13,691,631 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Ross Stores during the 4th quarter valued at $298,173,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Ross Stores by 7.7% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 28,069,263 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $2,335,364,000 after buying an additional 2,017,295 shares during the period. Boston Partners acquired a new position in shares of Ross Stores in the 4th quarter valued at $80,761,000. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System grew its holdings in shares of Ross Stores by 43.4% in the 4th quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 1,992,512 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $165,777,000 after buying an additional 602,689 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.96% of the company’s stock.
In other Ross Stores news, EVP Michael J. Hartshorn sold 9,924 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.48, for a total transaction of $907,847.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Michael Balmuth sold 81,049 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 31st. The stock was 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. Over the last three months, insiders sold 192,414 shares of company stock worth $17,699,558. Insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.
ROST has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price target on shares of Ross Stores from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. BidaskClub raised shares of Ross Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 22nd. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ross Stores from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. Robert W. Baird initiated coverage on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Monday, May 13th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $108.00 price target for the company. Finally, DA Davidson boosted their price target on shares of Ross Stores to $92.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, March 7th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $98.13.
Ross Stores stock traded up $0.52 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $98.99. The company had a trading volume of 90,666 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,324,913. The stock has a market cap of $36.15 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.21, a P/E/G ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a quick ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87. Ross Stores, Inc. has a one year low of $75.91 and a one year high of $104.35.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 23rd. The apparel retailer reported $1.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $3.80 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.79 billion. Ross Stores had a net margin of 10.47% and a return on equity of 48.92%. The business’s revenue was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.11 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Ross Stores, Inc. will post 4.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Ross Stores declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, March 5th that allows the company to buyback $2.55 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the apparel retailer to buy up to 7.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 28th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 11th will be issued a $0.255 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, June 10th. This represents a $1.02 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.03%. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is currently 23.94%.
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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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