Ross Stores Inc. (ROST): Today's Featured Services Laggard

Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.

Ross Stores ( ROST) pushed the Services sector lower today making it today's featured Services laggard. The sector as a whole closed the day down 0.5%. By the end of trading, Ross Stores fell 69 cents (-1%) to $67.35 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1.3 million shares of Ross Stores exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2.1 million shares. The stock ranged in price between $67.15-$67.84 after having opened the day at $67.75 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $68.04. Other companies within the Services sector that declined today were: Bluefly ( BFLY), down 15.7%, DS Torm ( TRMD), down 11.9%, Mecox Lane ( MCOX), down 11.7%, and Rainmaker Systems ( RMKR), down 11.3%.
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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 brand names in the United States. Ross Stores has a market cap of $15.19 billion and is part of the retail industry. The company has a P/E ratio of 21.1, equal to the average retail industry P/E ratio and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Shares are up 43.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Friday. Currently there are 11 analysts that rate Ross Stores a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 10 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Ross Stores as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the services sector could consider iShares Dow Jones US Cons Services ( IYC) while those bearish on the services sector could consider ProShares Ultra Short Consumer Sers ( SCC).

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