Ayalon Holdings Ltd. decreased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 79.3% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 475 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 1,815 shares during the period. Ayalon Holdings Ltd.’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $169,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Cordasco Financial Network acquired a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 1st quarter valued at approximately $30,000. Charter Oak Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $32,000. Bellwether Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $37,000. DB Wealth Management Group LLC acquired a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $38,000. Finally, Key Financial Inc acquired a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter valued at approximately $41,000. 67.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

In other news, VP Roland Michael Vachris sold 4,300 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $334.30, for a total value of $1,437,490.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 15,602 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,215,748.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CFO Richard A. Galanti sold 2,230 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $372.06, for a total value of $829,693.80. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 22,871 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,509,384.26. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

A number of analysts have commented on COST shares. Citigroup reduced their price objective on Costco Wholesale from $380.00 to $360.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 11th. Jefferies Financial Group reduced their price objective on Costco Wholesale from $435.00 to $405.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, March 11th. Wells Fargo & Company raised their price objective on Costco Wholesale from $370.00 to $400.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 14th. Oppenheimer raised their price objective on Costco Wholesale from $370.00 to $400.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 14th. Finally, DA Davidson lowered their price target on Costco Wholesale from $390.00 to $325.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, March 11th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $387.42.

NASDAQ:COST opened at $379.32 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.49, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.98. The company has a market cap of $167.86 billion, a PE ratio of 38.94, a PEG ratio of 4.17 and a beta of 0.66. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 52-week low of $293.84 and a 52-week high of $393.15. The stock has a 50-day simple moving average of $356.61 and a 200 day simple moving average of $361.97.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, March 3rd. The retailer reported $2.14 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.45 by ($0.31). Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.50% and a return on equity of 24.50%. The company had revenue of $44.77 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $43.71 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $2.10 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, research analysts predict that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 9.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 14th. Investors of record on Friday, April 30th will be given a dividend of $0.79 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, April 29th. This is a boost from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. This represents a $3.16 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.83%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is 35.71%.

Costco Wholesale Company Profile

Costco Wholesale Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the operation of membership warehouses in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Australia, Spain, France, Iceland, China, and Taiwan. It offers branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise categories.

Further Reading: What are the benefits of momentum investing?

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

Receive News & Ratings for Costco Wholesale Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Costco Wholesale and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.