Motley Fool Wealth Management LLC raised its position in Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) by 15.1% during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 30,080 shares of the retailer’s stock after buying an additional 3,938 shares during the period. Motley Fool Wealth Management LLC’s holdings in Costco Wholesale Corporation were worth $5,044,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also made changes to their positions in COST. Boston Private Wealth LLC raised its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 28.4% in the first quarter. Boston Private Wealth LLC now owns 27,289 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $4,576,000 after buying an additional 6,034 shares in the last quarter. Roundview Capital LLC raised its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 5.5% in the first quarter. Roundview Capital LLC now owns 5,334 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $894,000 after buying an additional 279 shares in the last quarter. AXA raised its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 32.7% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 669,139 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $112,208,000 after buying an additional 164,791 shares in the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 4.1% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,248,905 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $544,809,000 after buying an additional 129,106 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ariel Investments LLC raised its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 4.6% in the first quarter. Ariel Investments LLC now owns 174,481 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $29,259,000 after buying an additional 7,613 shares in the last quarter. 73.91% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ COST) traded up 0.74% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $152.45. 5,703,470 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $155.03 and a 200-day moving average price of $167.02. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a one year low of $142.11 and a one year high of $183.18. The firm has a market capitalization of $66.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.47 and a beta of 0.93. Costco Wholesale Corporation also was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Stock traders purchased 20,702 call options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 169% compared to the typical volume of 7,689 call options.

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

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 18th will be given a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 16th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.31%. This is a boost from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 34.66%.

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A number of brokerages have recently commented on COST. Robert W. Baird set a $200.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Thursday. Vetr raised shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $182.22 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, August 21st. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus set a $173.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, twenty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $179.56.

In related news, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.25, for a total transaction of $159,250.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 4,974 shares in the company, valued at $792,109.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel M. Hines sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $181.32, for a total value of $906,600.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 28,786 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,219,477.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 15,000 shares of company stock valued at $2,677,430 in the last quarter. 0.74% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

About Costco Wholesale Corporation

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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