How to Play This Struggling Retail Stock

Ross Stores stock is down 15% in the last six months

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Ross Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST) is a far cry from its May 10 record high of $134.21. Does that mean the department store stock is at a discount right now, or should investors buy the dip? 

Ross Stores stock is down 11% year-to-date, but remains up 10% in the last 12 months. While 10% of ROST's float is sold short, those bearish bettors are in no hurry to cover given the stock's 15% haircut in the last six months. 

From a fundamental point of view, Ross stock is an interesting comeback play for long-term investors, with a forward dividend of $1.14 and a dividend yield of 1.08%.  Although ROST's revenues experienced a 22% decrease in fiscal 2020, the discount retail brand's trailing 12-month revenues have recovered nicely, already up 38%.

However, Ross Stores has yet to fully recover on the bottom-line after net income decreased a massive 95% in fiscal 2020. Since then, ROST has seen its net income grow 1470%, but is still ultimately down 19% in comparison to what was reported in fiscal 2019. Nonetheless, ROST’s forward price-earnings of 19.76 promises significant earnings growth, considering its current price-earnings ratio of 28.68.

These options look well-priced at the moment, too. The stock's Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 26% stands higher than 18% of all other readings in its annual range, implying that options players are pricing in low volatility expectations. It's also worth pointing out that ROST ranks low on the Schaeffer's Volatility Scorecard (SVS), with a score of just 18 out of 100. In other words, the security has consistently realized lower volatility than its options have priced in, making the stock a potential premium-selling candidate.
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