Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) was the target of a significant decrease in short interest during the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 12,867,950 shares, a decrease of 11.2% from the July 31st total of 14,493,250 shares. Approximately 3.0% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 3,170,036 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 4.1 days.

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) opened at 152.45 on Friday. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 52 week low of $142.11 and a 52 week high of $183.18. The company has a market cap of $66.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.47 and a beta of 0.93. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $155.03 and its 200 day moving average price is $167.02.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 25th. The retailer reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.31 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $28.86 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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 business posted $1.24 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Costco Wholesale Corporation will post $5.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be paid a $0.50 dividend. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 16th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.31%. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 34.66%.

In other news, insider John D. Mckay sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the insider now directly owns 62,607 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,369,431.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel M. Hines sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction 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 sale, the insider now directly owns 28,786 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,219,477.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 15,000 shares of company stock valued at $2,677,430. 0.74% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of COST. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC raised its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.6% in the second quarter. Lord Abbett & CO. LLC now owns 183,500 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $29,347,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares during the period. USA Financial Portformulas Corp purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation during the second quarter valued at approximately $2,673,000. Kimelman & Baird LLC raised its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 2,933.6% in the second quarter. Kimelman & Baird LLC now owns 88,156 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $14,099,000 after buying an additional 85,250 shares during the period. Hall Laurie J Trustee purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation during the second quarter valued at approximately $148,000. Finally, Archford Capital Strategies LLC raised its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 1,158.8% in the second quarter. Archford Capital Strategies LLC now owns 72,924 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,593,000 after buying an additional 67,131 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.91% of the company’s stock.

COST has been the subject of several analyst reports. Northcoast Research raised Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $190.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a report on Friday, July 7th. BMO Capital Markets downgraded Costco Wholesale Corporation from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $185.00 to $160.00 in a report on Monday, July 10th. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) downgraded Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “conviction-buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $197.00 to $176.00 in a report on Friday, June 16th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $179.56.

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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.

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