Financial Counselors Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) in the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor purchased 3,304 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock, valued at approximately $308,000.

A number of other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ROST. Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised its position in shares of Ross Stores by 1.3% during the first quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 30,337 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $2,818,000 after buying an additional 400 shares during the last quarter. Tuttle Tactical Management acquired a new position in shares of Ross Stores during the first quarter valued at about $511,000. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in shares of Ross Stores by 2.0% during the first quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 289,555 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $26,957,000 after buying an additional 5,614 shares during the last quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. raised its position in shares of Ross Stores by 11.0% during the first quarter. CIBC World Markets Inc. now owns 17,976 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $1,674,000 after buying an additional 1,776 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bremer Bank National Association acquired a new position in shares of Ross Stores during the first quarter valued at about $107,000. Institutional investors own 88.97% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ:ROST opened at $92.99 on Friday. Ross Stores, Inc. has a 12-month low of $75.91 and a 12-month high of $104.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 1.34 and a quick ratio of 0.64. The stock has a market capitalization of $34.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.83, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 0.89.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 23rd. The apparel retailer reported $1.13 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ 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 firm had revenue of $3.80 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.79 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.11 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Ross Stores, Inc. will post 4.51 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

Ross Stores announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Tuesday, March 5th that permits the company to buyback $2.55 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the apparel retailer to purchase up to 7.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Tuesday, March 5th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ross Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, February 14th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price objective on shares of Ross Stores from $92.00 to $104.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 6th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Ross Stores from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 13th. Finally, DA Davidson upped their price objective on shares of Ross Stores to $92.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 7th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $98.13.

In other Ross Stores news, Chairman Michael Balmuth sold 25,689 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the chairman now directly owns 51,998 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,719,858.46. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Bernard G. Brautigan sold 19,384 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, April 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $93.56, for a total transaction of $1,813,567.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 137,054 shares of company stock valued at $12,504,328 in the last three months. Company 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 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST)

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