Machina Capital S.A.S. bought a new stake in shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor bought 2,712 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock, valued at approximately $226,000.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Bollard Group LLC purchased a new stake in Ross Stores during the 4th quarter worth about $25,000. CI Investments Inc. purchased a new stake in Ross Stores during the 4th quarter worth about $26,000. Athena Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Ross Stores during the 4th quarter worth about $29,000. Moody National Bank Trust Division purchased a new stake in Ross Stores during the 4th quarter worth about $30,000. Finally, Berman Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Ross Stores during the 4th quarter worth about $32,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 91.14% of the company’s stock.
In other Ross Stores news, Chairman Michael Balmuth sold 20,057 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $88.82, for a total transaction of $1,781,462.74. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 134,567 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,952,240.94. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Bernard G. Brautigan sold 12,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, March 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.18, for a total value of $1,094,160.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 174,450 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $15,906,351. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 137,054 shares of company stock valued at $12,504,328 over the last ninety days. 2.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, March 5th. The apparel retailer reported $1.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.13 by $0.07. The business had revenue of $4.11 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.05 billion. Ross Stores had a return on equity of 49.58% and a net margin of 10.60%. On average, equities analysts forecast that Ross Stores, Inc. will post 4.5 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Ross Stores announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase program on Tuesday, March 5th that allows the company to buyback $2.55 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the apparel retailer to buy up to 7.3% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 18th were paid a dividend of $0.255 per share. This represents a $1.02 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.04%. This is an increase from Ross Stores’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 6th. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is 23.94%.
ROST has been the topic of a number of recent analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group increased their price objective on Ross Stores from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. BidaskClub upgraded Ross Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 3rd. Loop Capital increased their price objective on Ross Stores to $105.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 24th. DA Davidson increased their price objective on Ross Stores to $92.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, March 7th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co increased their price objective on Ross Stores from $92.00 to $104.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 6th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $97.42.
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Ross Stores Company 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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