FMR LLC trimmed its stake in shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) by 0.2% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The firm owned 22,711,392 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after selling 50,100 shares during the quarter. FMR LLC owned about 6.13% of Ross Stores worth $1,889,588,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Several other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in the stock. Bollard Group LLC bought a new position in Ross Stores in the fourth quarter valued at about $25,000. CI Investments Inc. bought a new position in Ross Stores in the fourth quarter valued at about $26,000. Athena Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Ross Stores in the fourth quarter valued at about $29,000. Moody National Bank Trust Division bought a new position in Ross Stores in the fourth quarter valued at about $30,000. Finally, Berman Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Ross Stores in the fourth quarter valued at about $32,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.88% of the company’s stock.
In other Ross Stores news, insider Bernard G. Brautigan sold 12,000 shares of Ross Stores stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.18, for a total transaction of $1,094,160.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 174,450 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,906,351. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Chairman Michael Balmuth sold 25,689 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.77, for a total value of $2,331,790.53. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 51,998 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,719,858.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 137,054 shares of company stock valued at $12,504,328. Corporate insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, March 5th. The apparel retailer reported $1.20 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.07. Ross Stores had a return on equity of 49.58% and a net margin of 10.60%. The business had revenue of $4.11 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.05 billion. On average, research analysts anticipate that Ross Stores, Inc. will post 4.49 earnings per share for the current year.
Ross Stores declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase 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 buy up to 7.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 18th were paid a dividend of $0.255 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 6th. This represents a $1.02 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.02%. This is a positive change from Ross Stores’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. Ross Stores’s payout ratio is 23.94%.
Several equities analysts have commented on the company. BidaskClub upgraded Ross Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 3rd. DA Davidson increased their price target on Ross Stores to $92.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 7th. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price target on Ross Stores from $92.00 to $104.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th. Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on Ross Stores from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th. Finally, Guggenheim reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $105.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Tuesday, March 5th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $97.42.
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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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