Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Ross Stores has outperformed the broader industry in the past year, given its 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. This led to an uptrend in estimates for fiscal 2017. Moreover, its solid financial status, ongoing merchandise initiatives and consistent focus on-store expansion bode well. However, the company anticipates witnessing the most challenging year-ago comparisons in second-half fiscal 2017, alongside a volatile retail backdrop.”

A number of other research firms have also issued reports on ROST. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $70.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, May 15th. Instinet reissued a “buy” rating and set a $74.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Sunday. Telsey Advisory Group raised shares of Ross Stores from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 target price for the company in a research note on Friday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS AG reduced their target price on shares of Ross Stores from $70.00 to $64.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation reissued a “buy” rating and set a $80.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Sunday. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $69.28.

Shares of Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) traded down 0.6611% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $58.7987. The company had a trading volume of 1,643,300 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $22.52 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.4183 and a beta of 1.10. Ross Stores has a 52-week low of $52.85 and a 52-week high of $69.81. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $55.20 and its 200 day moving average is $61.99.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.77 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $3.43 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.37 billion. Ross Stores had a net margin of 8.87% and a return on equity of 42.95%. Ross Stores’s revenue was up 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.71 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Ross Stores will post $3.24 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other news, Director Sharon D. Garrett sold 16,130 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.23, for a total transaction of $1,019,899.90. Following the sale, the director now owns 4,967 shares in the company, valued at $314,063.41. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 2.30% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Ross Stores by 1,908.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,454,293 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $1,742,545,000 after buying an additional 25,137,186 shares in the last quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG raised its stake in Ross Stores by 7,335.3% in the second quarter. Flossbach Von Storch AG now owns 5,000,270 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $288,666,000 after buying an additional 4,933,020 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its stake in Ross Stores by 3,501.6% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 1,942,654 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $112,149,000 after buying an additional 1,888,715 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in Ross Stores by 68.4% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 4,604,774 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $265,834,000 after buying an additional 1,870,314 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in Ross Stores by 393.0% in the second quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,573,128 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $90,817,000 after buying an additional 1,254,028 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.20% of the company’s stock.

About Ross Stores

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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Analyst Recommendations for Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST)

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