Bahl & Gaynor Inc. raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) by 0.9% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 4,114 shares of the retailer’s stock after buying an additional 36 shares during the period. Bahl & Gaynor Inc.’s holdings in Costco Wholesale Corporation were worth $690,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Congress Asset Management Co. MA acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale Corporation during the fourth quarter worth $57,256,000. L & S Advisors Inc acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale Corporation during the fourth quarter worth $508,000. Cigna Investments Inc. New acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale Corporation during the fourth quarter worth $2,583,000. Cypress Wealth Advisors LLC raised its position in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 5.0% in the fourth quarter. Cypress Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 4,749 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $760,000 after buying an additional 227 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ARS Investment Partners LLC acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale Corporation during the fourth quarter worth $6,643,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.91% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) traded down 0.94% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $157.08. 2,747,925 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $68.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.27 and a beta of 0.93. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 12-month low of $142.11 and a 12-month high of $183.18. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $155.32 and its 200 day moving average price is $167.38. Costco Wholesale Corporation also was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Traders bought 6,031 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 231% compared to the average volume of 1,822 put options.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, May 25th. The retailer reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.31 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $28.86 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $28.57 billion. Costco Wholesale Corporation had a net margin of 2.06% and a return on equity of 20.45%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.24 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale Corporation will post $5.77 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be given a dividend of $0.50 per share. This is an increase from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 16th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.27%. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 34.66%.

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A number of research firms have recently commented on COST. Bank of America Corporation restated a “buy” rating and set a $192.00 price target (up from $180.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Sunday, May 28th. Deutsche Bank AG set a $172.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Friday, May 26th. UBS AG upgraded shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets downgraded shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $185.00 to $160.00 in a report on Monday, July 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, twenty-one have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $179.11.

In other news, insider Daniel M. Hines sold 5,000 shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $181.32, for a total value of $906,600.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 28,786 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,219,477.52. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider John D. Mckay sold 3,000 shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $181.60, for a total transaction of $544,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 62,607 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,369,431.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 15,000 shares of company stock worth $2,677,430 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Costco Wholesale Corporation Company Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

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