Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST)’s share price was up 10% during trading on Friday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The company traded as high as $73.94 and last traded at $72.25. Approximately 8,241,749 shares changed hands during trading, an increase of 179% from the average daily volume of 2,958,363 shares. The stock had previously closed at $65.69.

The apparel retailer reported $0.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.67 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $3.33 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.26 billion. Ross Stores had a net margin of 8.87% and a return on equity of 42.95%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.62 earnings per share.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, December 1st will be given a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 30th. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.89%. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 21.12%.

Several research analysts have issued reports on ROST shares. MKM Partners lifted their price target on shares of Ross Stores from $77.00 to $78.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Bank of America Corporation restated a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 price target on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Sunday, August 20th. Instinet restated a “buy” rating and issued a $74.00 price target on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Sunday, August 20th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $75.00 price target on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ross Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, August 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $72.48.

In related news, CEO Barbara Rentler sold 15,492 shares of Ross Stores stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $61.00, for a total value of $945,012.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Brian R. Morrow sold 6,157 shares of Ross Stores stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.30, for a total transaction of $402,052.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Balentine LLC lifted its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Balentine LLC now owns 1,775 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $102,000 after purchasing an additional 5 shares during the last quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 7,118 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $411,000 after purchasing an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 0.6% in the 2nd quarter. First Heartland Consultants Inc. now owns 6,136 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $354,000 after purchasing an additional 34 shares during the last quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust lifted its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 3.4% in the 2nd quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 1,868 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $108,000 after purchasing an additional 61 shares during the last quarter. Finally, New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY lifted its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. New Amsterdam Partners LLC NY now owns 8,375 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $483,000 after purchasing an additional 64 shares during the last quarter. 90.51% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.14, a quick ratio of 0.76 and a current ratio of 1.64. The firm has a market cap of $25,330.00, a P/E ratio of 21.28, a PEG ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 1.09.

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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.

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