Wall Street brokerages expect Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) to report earnings of $1.13 per share for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Nine analysts have issued estimates for Ross Stores’ earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.15 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.11. Ross Stores reported earnings of $1.04 per share in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 8.7%. The company is expected to announce its next quarterly earnings report on Thursday, August 22nd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Ross Stores will report full year earnings of $4.50 per share for the current fiscal year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.44 to $4.56. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will post earnings of $4.95 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.75 to $5.10. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that cover Ross Stores.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 23rd. The apparel retailer reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.12 by $0.01. Ross Stores had a net margin of 10.60% and a return on equity of 49.58%. The company had revenue of $3.80 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.79 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.11 earnings per share. Ross Stores’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.8% on a year-over-year basis.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on ROST. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Ross Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ross Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 13th. Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and issued a $105.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Friday. Robert W. Baird began coverage on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Monday, May 13th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $108.00 target price for the company. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on shares of Ross Stores from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $97.84.

ROST traded down $1.73 during trading on Friday, hitting $92.78. 5,841,213 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,275,689. The company has a market cap of $34.09 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.78, a P/E/G ratio of 2.08 and a beta of 0.89. The company has a quick ratio of 0.82, a current ratio of 1.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09. Ross Stores has a 1 year low of $75.91 and a 1 year high of $104.35.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 28th. Investors of record on Tuesday, June 11th will be issued a $0.255 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 10th. This represents a $1.02 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.10%. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is presently 23.94%.

Ross Stores announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Tuesday, March 5th that authorizes the company to repurchase $2.55 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the apparel retailer to purchase up to 7.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, EVP Michael J. Hartshorn sold 9,924 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.48, for a total value of $907,847.52. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Michael Balmuth sold 25,689 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.77, for a total transaction of $2,331,790.53. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 51,998 shares in the company, valued at $4,719,858.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 137,054 shares of company stock worth $12,504,328 over the last ninety days. 2.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Ross Stores by 1.0% during the first quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 11,353 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $1,057,000 after purchasing an additional 114 shares during the period. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC grew its position in shares of Ross Stores by 0.9% during the first quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 13,143 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $1,225,000 after acquiring an additional 116 shares during the last quarter. Private Trust Co. NA grew its position in shares of Ross Stores by 2.1% during the first quarter. Private Trust Co. NA now owns 5,826 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $542,000 after acquiring an additional 120 shares during the last quarter. BRYN MAWR TRUST Co grew its position in shares of Ross Stores by 3.9% during the first quarter. BRYN MAWR TRUST Co now owns 3,245 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $302,000 after acquiring an additional 123 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC grew its position in shares of Ross Stores by 3.0% during the fourth quarter. BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC now owns 4,259 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $354,000 after acquiring an additional 126 shares during the last quarter. 88.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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