Westwood Holdings Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) by 70.0% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 37,207 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after buying an additional 15,326 shares during the period. Westwood Holdings Group Inc.’s holdings in Ross Stores were worth $2,986,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in ROST. Cerebellum GP LLC bought a new stake in shares of Ross Stores during the 4th quarter valued at about $132,000. Zions Bancorporation grew its position in shares of Ross Stores by 338.9% during the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,120 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $137,000 after buying an additional 1,637 shares during the last quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. grew its position in shares of Ross Stores by 255.1% during the 4th quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. now owns 1,900 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock valued at $152,000 after buying an additional 1,365 shares during the last quarter. Harvest Fund Management Co. Ltd bought a new stake in shares of Ross Stores during the 4th quarter valued at about $159,000. Finally, Financial Gravity Companies Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Ross Stores during the 4th quarter valued at about $164,000. 89.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of ROST stock opened at $77.31 on Wednesday. The firm has a market cap of $29,440.53, a P/E ratio of 23.07, a PEG ratio of 1.91 and a beta of 1.09. Ross Stores, Inc. has a one year low of $52.85 and a one year high of $85.66. The company has a quick ratio of 0.78, a current ratio of 1.64 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 30th. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 19th will be paid a $0.225 dividend. This is a positive change from Ross Stores’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. This represents a $0.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.16%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 16th. Ross Stores’s dividend payout ratio is currently 25.35%.
Ross Stores announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, March 6th that permits the company to repurchase $200.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the apparel retailer to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
ROST has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Ross Stores from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, December 27th. Nomura restated a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 target price (up previously from $80.00) on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. SunTrust Banks restated a “buy” rating on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $78.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $73.00 target price on shares of Ross Stores in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $81.86.
In related news, Chairman Michael Balmuth sold 59,777 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.53, for a total transaction of $4,574,733.81. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Bernard G. Brautigan sold 8,587 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.80, for a total transaction of $659,481.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 193,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,829,235.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 123,414 shares of company stock valued at $9,470,574. Company insiders own 2.30% of the company’s stock.
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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