Empire Life Investments Inc. lessened its stake in Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) by 52.5% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 160,699 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after selling 177,679 shares during the period. Empire Life Investments Inc.’s holdings in Ross Stores were worth $12,896,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Novare Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Ross Stores by 4.4% in the 4th quarter. Novare Capital Management LLC now owns 15,302 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $1,228,000 after buying an additional 640 shares in the last quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. grew its stake in Ross Stores by 5.1% in the 4th quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 13,750 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $1,103,000 after buying an additional 670 shares in the last quarter. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. grew its stake in Ross Stores by 15.8% in the 4th quarter. Bbva Compass Bancshares Inc. now owns 5,355 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $430,000 after buying an additional 730 shares in the last quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC grew its stake in Ross Stores by 5.2% in the 3rd quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 16,256 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $1,061,000 after buying an additional 806 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. grew its stake in Ross Stores by 26.4% in the 4th quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 4,584 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $368,000 after buying an additional 956 shares in the last quarter. 89.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST) opened at $77.01 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10, a current ratio of 1.64 and a quick ratio of 0.78. Ross Stores, Inc. has a 1-year low of $52.85 and a 1-year high of $85.66. The company has a market cap of $29,429.06, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.06, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 1.09.
Ross Stores declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Tuesday, March 6th that authorizes the company to repurchase $200.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the apparel retailer to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 30th. Shareholders of record on Monday, March 19th will be issued a $0.225 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 16th. This is a positive change from Ross Stores’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. This represents a $0.90 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.17%. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is 18.03%.
A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on ROST. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Ross Stores from $65.00 to $71.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $73.00 price objective on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on shares of Ross Stores from $89.00 to $94.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, Nomura reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 price objective (up previously from $80.00) on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Wednesday, January 17th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and sixteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $80.86.
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Ross Stores 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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