Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST) Stake Lowered by Palisade Asset Management LLC

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Palisade Asset Management LLC decreased its stake in shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) by 0.6% in the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The institutional investor owned 26,250 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after selling 160 shares during the period. Palisade Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Ross Stores were worth $2,444,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Several other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in ROST. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ross Stores by 11.7% in the 4th quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 35,082 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $2,921,000 after purchasing an additional 3,663 shares in the last quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ross Stores by 440.8% in the 4th quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 13,027 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $1,083,000 after purchasing an additional 10,618 shares in the last quarter. Legacy Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Ross Stores in the 1st quarter worth $67,000. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ross Stores by 10.6% in the 4th quarter. Gateway Investment Advisers LLC now owns 57,632 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $4,795,000 after purchasing an additional 5,514 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nisa Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Ross Stores by 0.9% in the 4th quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 168,407 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $14,011,000 after purchasing an additional 1,448 shares in the last quarter. 90.30% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ ROST traded up $0.64 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $98.01. 1,423,200 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,322,762. The stock has a market capitalization of $35.90 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.01, a PEG ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.89. Ross Stores, Inc. has a 52 week low of $75.91 and a 52 week high of $104.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09, a current ratio of 1.69 and a quick ratio of 0.82.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, March 5th. The apparel retailer reported $1.20 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the 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 company had revenue of $4.11 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.05 billion. Research analysts expect that Ross Stores, Inc. will post 4.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Investors of record on Monday, March 18th were issued a $0.255 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 6th. This represents a $1.02 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.04%. This is a positive change from Ross Stores’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 23.94%.

Ross Stores declared that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Tuesday, March 5th that authorizes the company to buyback $2.55 billion in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the apparel retailer to buy up to 7.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

Several equities analysts have weighed in on the company. Credit Suisse Group raised their price objective on Ross Stores from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th. BidaskClub upgraded Ross Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. Loop Capital raised their price objective on Ross Stores to $105.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. DA Davidson raised their price objective on Ross Stores to $92.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 7th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on Ross Stores from $92.00 to $104.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $97.42.

In related news, EVP Michael J. Hartshorn sold 9,924 shares of Ross Stores stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.48, for a total value of $907,847.52. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Michael Balmuth sold 25,689 shares of Ross Stores stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was 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 three months, insiders sold 137,054 shares of company stock valued at $12,504,328. 2.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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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 in the United States. It 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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