Hound Partners LLC Lowers Stake in Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST)

Hound Partners LLC lowered its stake in shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) by 13.0% in the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The firm owned 430,936 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after selling 64,528 shares during the period. Ross Stores makes up approximately 2.4% of Hound Partners LLC’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 12th largest position. Hound Partners LLC owned 0.12% of Ross Stores worth $51,674,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Piscataqua Savings Bank purchased a new position in Ross Stores in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $25,000. Gradient Investments LLC boosted its position in Ross Stores by 23,100.0% in the 1st quarter. Gradient Investments LLC now owns 232 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $28,000 after buying an additional 231 shares during the period. Childress Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Ross Stores in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $29,000. Capital Analysts LLC purchased a new position in Ross Stores in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $35,000. Finally, Allred Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in Ross Stores in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $36,000. 83.79% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

ROST stock traded down $1.13 during trading on Thursday, reaching $120.52. 21,502 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,576,335. The stock has a market cap of $43.04 billion, a P/E ratio of 49.86, a P/E/G ratio of 2.74 and a beta of 1.04. Ross Stores, Inc. has a 52-week low of $84.11 and a 52-week high of $134.21. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $122.54. The company has a current ratio of 1.72, a quick ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 19th. The apparel retailer reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.90 by $0.44. The firm had revenue of $4.52 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.80 billion. Ross Stores had a net margin of 5.71% and a return on equity of 32.44%. The firm’s revenue was up 145.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned ($0.29) earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Ross Stores, Inc. will post 4.33 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 30th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, June 8th were given a dividend of $0.285 per share. This represents a $1.14 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.95%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, June 7th. Ross Stores’s payout ratio is currently 97.44%.

Ross Stores declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, May 20th that permits the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the apparel retailer to reacquire up to 3.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. UBS Group raised their price objective on shares of Ross Stores from $120.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Wednesday, May 12th. OTR Global upgraded shares of Ross Stores from a “mixed” rating to a “positive” rating in a report on Monday, May 3rd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on shares of Ross Stores from $127.00 to $132.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a report on Friday, May 21st. Royal Bank of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Ross Stores from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, May 21st. Finally, Wedbush reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Tuesday, May 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $131.43.

In other Ross Stores news, insider Michael Balmuth sold 49,377 shares of Ross Stores stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $126.03, for a total transaction of $6,222,983.31. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 49,145 shares in the company, valued at $6,193,744.35. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 2.00% of the company’s stock.

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 offer 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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