Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) have been given an average recommendation of “Buy” by the twenty-eight research firms that are presently covering the firm. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, eighteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating on the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokerages that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $172.22.

Several equities research analysts have issued reports on COST shares. Citigroup Inc. raised their target price on Costco Wholesale Corp. from $155.00 to $172.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 16th. Zacks Investment Research cut Costco Wholesale Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $179.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Nomura reissued a “buy” rating and set a $185.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $171.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd.

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) opened at 150.15 on Friday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $153.10 and its 200-day moving average price is $156.08. The stock has a market capitalization of $65.69 billion, a PE ratio of 28.17 and a beta of 0.71. Costco Wholesale Corp. has a 52 week low of $138.57 and a 52 week high of $169.73.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 29th. The retailer reported $1.77 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.73 by $0.04. Costco Wholesale Corp. had a return on equity of 20.26% and a net margin of 1.98%. The firm had revenue of $35.73 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $1.73 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Costco Wholesale Corp. will post $5.95 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 18th. Investors of record on Friday, November 4th will be given a $0.45 dividend. This represents a $1.80 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.20%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 2nd. Costco Wholesale Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.71%.

In related news, Director Jill S. Ruckelshaus sold 7,442 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $167.10, for a total value of $1,243,558.20. Following the transaction, the director now owns 18,566 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,102,378.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 5,737 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $167.74, for a total value of $962,324.38. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 4,652 shares in the company, valued at approximately $780,326.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.78% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 39.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 14,278,020 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,249,930,000 after buying an additional 4,074,799 shares during the period. Janus Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 56.8% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 4,464,121 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $701,046,000 after buying an additional 1,616,299 shares during the period. 1832 Asset Management L.P. boosted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 72.5% in the second quarter. 1832 Asset Management L.P. now owns 1,834,509 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $289,953,000 after buying an additional 771,240 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 15.8% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,461,235 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $857,632,000 after buying an additional 743,180 shares during the period. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can bought a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. during the second quarter valued at about $114,769,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.13% of the company’s stock.

About Costco Wholesale Corp.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) is engaged in the operation of membership warehouses in the United States (U.S.) and Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom (U.K.), Mexico, Japan, Australia, Spain, and through majority-owned subsidiaries in Taiwan and Korea. The Company operated 663 membership warehouses and an average warehouse is approximately 144,000 square feet.

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