Costco Wholesale Co. (COST) Raised to Overweight at Barclays PLC

Barclays PLC upgraded shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a research report report published on Thursday, April 20th. The brokerage currently has $185.00 price target on the retailer’s stock, up from their previous price target of $170.00.

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on COST. Cowen and Company reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $170.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Thursday, December 22nd. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $175.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Sunday, January 1st. Telsey Advisory Group upped their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale from $170.00 to $180.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a report on Thursday, January 5th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Thursday, January 5th. Finally, Instinet reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $185.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Friday, January 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Costco Wholesale presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $179.70.

Shares of Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) opened at 171.64 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $172.27 and a 200 day moving average price of $164.62. Costco Wholesale has a 12 month low of $141.91 and a 12 month high of $183.18. The stock has a market cap of $75.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.66 and a beta of 0.89.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 2nd. The retailer reported $1.17 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.19. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 20.06% and a net margin of 2.02%. The firm had revenue of $29.77 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $29.75 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.24 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale will post $5.64 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently disclosed a special dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 26th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 10th will be given a $7.00 dividend. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale’s previous special dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 10th. This represents a yield of 1.13%. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is currently 32.79%.

In other Costco Wholesale news, VP Timothy L. Rose sold 4,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.95, for a total value of $667,800.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 44,049 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,353,980.55. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director James D. Sinegal sold 17,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Monday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $164.52, for a total transaction of $2,796,840.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 792,594 shares in the company, valued at approximately $130,397,564.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 121,000 shares of company stock worth $20,099,640. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 43.4% in the first quarter. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. now owns 664 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 201 shares during the last quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 16.7% in the first quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC now owns 700 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. CKW Financial Group increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 33.1% in the first quarter. CKW Financial Group now owns 804 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 142.1% in the first quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. now owns 920 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $154,000 after buying an additional 540 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 2.3% in the first quarter. Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC now owns 972 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $163,000 after buying an additional 22 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.12% of the company’s stock.

About Costco Wholesale

Costco Wholesale Corporation is engaged in the operation of membership warehouses in the United States and Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Spain, and through its subsidiaries in Taiwan and Korea. As of August 28, 2016, the Company operated 715 warehouses across the world.

12 Month Chart for NASDAQ:COST

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