PLEASANTON, California (TheStreet) -- One of the stocks I've liked for some time is Ross Stores (ROST) - Get Report , which has been in my Van Meerten Growth Model Portfolio for some time. The company seems to be doing everything right including increasing same-store sales, controlling inventory and buying back stock.

The market has noticed, as is evidenced by this one-year price trading chart provided by

Barchart.com

:

The price is up a whopping 52% over the past year in a market that is down 8% as measured by the Value Line Index:

Ross operates Ross Dress for Less, the largest off-price apparel and home fashion chain in the United States with 1,037 locations in 29 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. Those stores offer in-season, name brand and designer apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions at savings of 20% to 60% off department and specialty store regular prices, according to the

Ross Web site.

The Company also operates 88 dd's DISCOUNTS stores in seven states that feature a more moderately-priced assortment of first-quality, in-season, name brand apparel, accessories, footwear and home fashions for the entire family at everyday savings of 20% to 70% off moderate department and discount store regular prices, according to the company Web site.

Factors to consider:

Barchart technical indicators

  • 72% Barchart technical "buy" signal
  • Trend Spotter "buy" signal
  • Above its 20-, 50- and 100-day moving averages
  • 5 new highs and up 3.27% in the last month
  • Relative Strength Index 58.74%
  • Barchart computes a technical support level at 61.53
  • Recently traded at 62.47 with a 50 day moving average of 59.99

Fundamental factors

  • 19 Wall Street brokerage firms have assigned 27 analysts to monitor the company's numbers
  • Sales are predicted to be up 10.5% this year and another 6.8% next year
  • Earnings estimates are for an increase of 18.9% this year, an additional 11.5% next year and to continue to increase at an annual rate of 13.42% for at least five years
  • These projections resulted in analysts issuing 7 "strong buy", 7 "buy", 12 "hold" and 1 "underperform" ratings their clients
  • If the numbers are met investors may expect to see an annual total return of 10% - 12% over the next 5 years
  • The P/E ratio of 20.47 is higher than the market P/E of 14.00
  • The dividend rate is only .90% but is around 15% of projected sales
  • The company has an "A" financial strength rating
  • Sames-store sales are increasing at a rate of about 10%
  • Plans to add 60 new stores
  • The company is still in the middle of a stock repurchase program

Investor interest

  • TheStreet Ratings gives the stock an "A+" grade
  • Jim Cramer gave a thumbs up the last time he was asked
  • Positive comments were made by FBRC Capital, Zacks, UBS and Barclays

Competition

The stock compares favorably to the competition. While Ross was up 52% in the past year,

TJX Companies

(TJX) - Get Report

, owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and other discount chains, was up 54%,

Limited Brands

(LTD)

, owner of Victoria's Secret, Bath and Body Works and other stores, was up 16% and

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

was up 40%.

TJX

  • TheStreet rating : "A+"
  • Revenue projections up 8.7% this year and 5.7% next year
  • Earnings estimates up 21.6% this year and another 11.6% next year

Limited

  • TheStreet rating: "B"
  • Revenue projections down 0.4% this year but up 4.0% next year
  • Earnings estimates up 8.5% this year and an additional 13.5% next year

Gap

TheStreet rating: "B"

Revenue projections up 5.2% this year and 2.8% next year

Earnings estimated to be up 23.7% this year and an additional 11.4% next year

Summary:

Ross has been in my model growth portfolio for some time. The stock meets the four criteria I look for:

  • Increasing revenue
  • Increasing earnings
  • An "A" financial strength rating
  • Recent upward momentum

The best way to play this stock if you own it is to monitor the 50-day moving averages and the lower of the 14 -ay turtle channel to signal possible sell points: