Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. Decreases Position in Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST)

Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc. reduced its stake in shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) by 0.8% during the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 75,719 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after selling 600 shares during the period. Farmers & Merchants Investments Inc.’s holdings in Ross Stores were worth $4,371,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in ROST. BlackRock Inc. increased 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. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Ross Stores by 3.5% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 35,460,595 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $2,335,790,000 after buying an additional 1,208,861 shares in the last quarter. MARSHALL WACE ASIA Ltd acquired a new stake in Ross Stores during the first quarter worth approximately $79,225,000. Marshall Wace North America L.P. acquired a new stake in Ross Stores during the first quarter worth approximately $79,225,000. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in Ross Stores by 29.2% in the first quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 5,151,764 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $339,347,000 after buying an additional 1,165,463 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.20% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (ROST) traded up 10.67% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $59.02. The stock had a trading volume of 14,140,321 shares. Ross Stores, Inc. has a 52 week low of $52.85 and a 52 week high of $69.81. The stock has a market cap of $22.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.22 and a beta of 1.10. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $55.18 and a 200 day moving average price of $62.10. Ross Stores also saw unusually large options trading activity on Tuesday. Traders purchased 12,143 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 1,039% compared to the average volume of 1,066 call options.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 17th. The apparel retailer reported $0.82 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.05. Ross Stores had a net margin of 8.77% and a return on equity of 42.56%. The company had revenue of $3.43 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.37 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.71 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Ross Stores, Inc. will post $3.17 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 29th. Investors of record on Thursday, September 7th will be paid a $0.16 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, September 6th. This represents a $0.64 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.08%. Ross Stores’s payout ratio is currently 21.92%.

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ROST has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Royal Bank Of Canada set a $70.00 target price on Ross Stores and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Zacks Investment Research cut Ross Stores from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 8th. Telsey Advisory Group raised Ross Stores from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $70.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, July 14th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS AG dropped their price objective on Ross Stores from $70.00 to $64.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Friday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price objective on Ross Stores and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $69.04.

In related news, Director Sharon D. Garrett sold 16,130 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.23, for a total value of $1,019,899.90. Following the sale, the director now owns 4,967 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $314,063.41. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Insiders own 2.30% 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.

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

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