South State CORP. Boosts Stock Holdings in Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST)

South State CORP. grew its position in shares of Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) by 8.8% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel.com reports. The fund owned 10,177 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 827 shares during the quarter. South State CORP.’s holdings in Ross Stores were worth $1,220,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its holdings in Ross Stores by 0.4% during the 4th quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 47,968,736 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $5,888,289,000 after acquiring an additional 204,495 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Ross Stores by 1.4% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,112,741 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $3,131,178,000 after acquiring an additional 372,935 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Ross Stores by 16.9% during the 1st quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 4,096,325 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $491,190,000 after acquiring an additional 591,382 shares during the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Ross Stores by 12.9% during the 4th quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 3,840,106 shares of the apparel retailer’s stock worth $471,604,000 after purchasing an additional 438,569 shares during the period. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new stake in shares of Ross Stores during the 4th quarter worth $443,766,000. 83.98% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NASDAQ ROST traded up $1.60 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $119.57. 4,713 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,089,275. Ross Stores, Inc. has a 12-month low of $79.65 and a 12-month high of $134.21. The company has a current ratio of 1.72, a quick ratio of 1.33 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. The stock has a market capitalization of $42.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 48.35, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.88 and a beta of 1.03. The firm has a fifty day moving average price of $126.10.

Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 19th. The apparel retailer reported $1.34 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.44. Ross Stores had a return on equity of 32.44% and a net margin of 5.71%. The company had revenue of $4.52 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.80 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned ($0.29) earnings per share. Ross Stores’s revenue was up 145.1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Ross Stores, Inc. will post 4.3 earnings per share for the current year.

Ross Stores announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, May 20th that permits the company to repurchase $1.50 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the apparel retailer to buy up to 3.4% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 30th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 8th will be issued a dividend of $0.285 per share. This represents a $1.14 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.95%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, June 7th. Ross Stores’s payout ratio is 97.44%.

In other Ross Stores news, insider Michael K. Kobayashi sold 13,544 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.49, for a total value of $1,672,548.56. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 99,589 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,298,245.61. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Barbara Rentler sold 45,623 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $123.73, for a total value of $5,644,933.79. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 311,526 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $38,545,111.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 197,741 shares of company stock valued at $24,497,649 in the last three months. 2.00% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the company. Wedbush reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Ross Stores in a research note on Tuesday, May 18th. Morgan Stanley lifted their target price on Ross Stores from $132.00 to $140.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 18th. Loop Capital boosted their price objective on Ross Stores from $130.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 15th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on Ross Stores from $127.00 to $132.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, May 21st. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft boosted their price objective on Ross Stores from $133.00 to $141.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 21st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. Ross Stores presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $131.43.

Ross Stores Company Profile

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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