Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage currently has a $68.00 price target on the apparel retailer’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 11.68% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Ross Stores has a positive record of earnings surprises in 12 of the trailing 13 quarters. In second-quarter fiscal 2017, both the top and bottom lines topped estimates and improved year over year. Results gained from solid top-line growth that was driven by broad-based growth across all merchandise categories and regions. Further, better-than-expected sales and operating profits at dd's DISCOUNTS aided results. Concluding first-half fiscal 2017 on a strong note, the company provided guidance for the second half and accordingly raised earnings view for fiscal 2017. Moreover, its solid financial status, ongoing merchandise initiatives and consistent focus on store expansion bode well. However, the company which has lagged the industry year to date, anticipates witnessing the most challenging year-ago comparisons in second-half fiscal 2017. It also expects facing a volatile retail backdrop.”

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on ROST. Instinet reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Sunday, August 20th. UBS AG lowered their target price on shares of Ross Stores from $70.00 to $64.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, August 18th. Telsey Advisory Group raised shares of Ross Stores from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America Corporation reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a report on Sunday, August 20th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $69.68.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) opened at 60.89 on Thursday. The firm has a market cap of $23.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.11 and a beta of 1.09. Ross Stores has a 12 month low of $52.85 and a 12 month high of $69.81. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $57.77 and a 200-day moving average of $60.76.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.82 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.05. The business had revenue of $3.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.37 billion. Ross Stores had a net margin of 8.87% and a return on equity of 42.95%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.71 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Ross Stores will post $3.23 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other Ross Stores news, CEO Barbara Rentler sold 15,492 shares of Ross Stores stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total transaction of $945,012.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in ROST. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Ross Stores by 1,908.5% during the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,454,293 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $1,742,545,000 after acquiring an additional 25,137,186 shares during the last quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG raised its position in Ross Stores by 7,335.3% during the second quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG now owns 5,000,270 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $288,666,000 after acquiring an additional 4,933,020 shares during the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its position in Ross Stores by 3,501.6% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,942,654 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $112,149,000 after acquiring an additional 1,888,715 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in Ross Stores by 68.4% during the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 4,604,774 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $265,834,000 after acquiring an additional 1,870,314 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its position in shares of Ross Stores by 393.0% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,573,128 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $90,817,000 after buying an additional 1,254,028 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 90.40% of the company’s stock.

Ross Stores Company Profile

Ross Stores, Inc and its subsidiaries operate two brands of off-price retail apparel and home fashion stores-Ross Dress for Less (Ross) and dd’s DISCOUNTS. The Company is the off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the United States, with 1,340 locations in 36 states, the District of Columbia and Guam, as of January 28, 2017.

Analyst Recommendations for Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST)

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