First Manhattan Co. Acquires New Stake in Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST)

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First Manhattan Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund acquired 291 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock, valued at approximately $27,000.

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ROST. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in Ross Stores by 33.8% during the third quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 13,907,770 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $1,378,259,000 after acquiring an additional 3,512,781 shares during the last quarter. LPL Financial LLC lifted its position in Ross Stores by 98.4% during the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 38,389 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $3,804,000 after acquiring an additional 19,038 shares during the last quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in Ross Stores during the third quarter valued at approximately $283,000. Captrust Financial Advisors lifted its position in Ross Stores by 490.6% during the third quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 2,770 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $275,000 after acquiring an additional 2,301 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new stake in Ross Stores during the third quarter valued at approximately $1,340,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.88% of the company’s stock.

In other news, insider James S. Fassio sold 50,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $91.51, for a total value of $4,575,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Michael Balmuth sold 25,689 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $90.77, for a total transaction of $2,331,790.53. Following the sale, the chairman now directly owns 51,998 shares in the company, valued at $4,719,858.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 137,054 shares of company stock worth $12,504,328 in the last quarter. Company insiders own 2.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on ROST. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Ross Stores from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 3rd. DA Davidson upped their price target on shares of Ross Stores to $92.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 7th. Wells Fargo & Co upped their price target on shares of 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 upped their price target on shares of Ross Stores from $95.00 to $100.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 6th. Finally, Guggenheim restated a “buy” rating and set a $105.00 price target on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Tuesday, March 5th. Eleven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $97.42.

NASDAQ:ROST opened at $100.00 on Monday. The firm has a market capitalization of $36.74 billion, a PE ratio of 23.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.14 and a beta of 0.89. Ross Stores, Inc. has a 1-year low of $75.91 and a 1-year high of $104.35. The company has a current ratio of 1.69, a quick ratio of 0.82 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.09.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, March 5th. The apparel retailer reported $1.20 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.13 by $0.07. The firm had revenue of $4.11 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.05 billion. Ross Stores had a net margin of 10.60% and a return on equity of 49.58%. Research analysts predict that Ross Stores, Inc. will post 4.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Ross Stores announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback 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 repurchase up to 7.3% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 29th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 18th were paid a $0.255 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 6th. This represents a $1.02 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.02%. This is a positive change from Ross Stores’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.23. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is presently 23.94%.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST)

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