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Shares of Ross Stores Inc. (ROST - Analyst Report) touched a new 52-week high of $70.86 on Friday, Aug 23, and eventually closed trade at $69.86. The stock gathered momentum from the company’s robust second-quarter fiscal 2013 results and impressive growth initiatives. This specialty retailer amassed a year-to-date return of 29.0%.

The average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months was approximately 1,400.9K. Moreover, the company currently trades at a forward P/E of 17.8x, a 6.7% discount to the peer group average of 19.08x. The last traded price is 1.0% below the Zacks Consensus average analyst price target of $70.56. Additionally, the company’s long-term estimated EPS growth rate is 12.2%.

Investors are optimistic about this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock as it reported second-quarter fiscal 2013 earnings of 98 cents per share, surging 21.0% from the year-ago quarter and surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 93 cents. The year-over-year improvement was driven by strong organic growth and higher margins.

Ross Stores’ sustained focus on top-line growth and profitability through strategic expansion in the existing markets that are most productive, and full implementation of micro-merchandising tools bode well for the future. Going forward, the company remains committed to opening new stores and maximizing shareholder value, based on its strong balance sheet.

Further, effective inventory management and strategic investments in merchandize organization will enhance the company’s long-term growth prospects and profitability.

Apart from Ross Stores, other retail stocks such as Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (GMCR - Analyst Report), Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY - Analyst Report) and Pinnacle Foods Inc. (PF - Snapshot Report) achieved new 52-week highs of $85.95, $35.68 and $27.81, respectively, on Aug 23, 2013.

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