Avalon Advisors LLC lessened its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 2.1% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 57,670 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 1,210 shares during the quarter. Avalon Advisors LLC’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $13,964,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Martingale Asset Management L P boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 145.0% during the 3rd quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 31,994 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $7,516,000 after acquiring an additional 18,935 shares during the last quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 2.2% in the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 23,808 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,591,000 after buying an additional 517 shares during the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 888.4% in the 3rd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 63,958 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $15,022,000 after buying an additional 57,487 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 0.4% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 35,457,639 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $8,328,292,000 after buying an additional 158,722 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC lifted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 0.6% in the 4th quarter. Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC now owns 67,200 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $13,689,000 after buying an additional 385 shares during the last quarter. 72.21% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Nomura assumed coverage on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $230.00 price target on the stock. Barclays restated a “hold” rating and issued a $225.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Wednesday, January 9th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale to $248.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Deutsche Bank set a $225.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $248.95.
In related news, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,350 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $240.00, for a total value of $564,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 46,239 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,097,360. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,049 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $232.00, for a total transaction of $475,368.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 48,589 shares in the company, valued at $11,272,648. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 8,587 shares of company stock worth $2,004,576. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Shares of NASDAQ:COST opened at $241.34 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $105.65 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.34, a PEG ratio of 3.46 and a beta of 0.94. Costco Wholesale Co. has a fifty-two week low of $189.51 and a fifty-two week high of $248.70. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.96.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The retailer reported $2.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.34. The firm had revenue of $35.40 billion for the quarter. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.34% and a return on equity of 25.53%. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.59 earnings per share. On average, research analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 7.9 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Investors of record on Friday, May 10th will be given a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 9th. This is an increase from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.08%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.38%.
Costco Wholesale announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Friday, April 26th that permits the company to repurchase $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the retailer to purchase up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
Costco Wholesale Profile
Costco Wholesale Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates membership warehouses. It offers branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise categories. The company provides dry and packaged foods, and groceries; snack foods, candies, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and cleaning supplies; appliances, electronics, health and beauty aids, hardware, and garden and patio products; meat, bakery, deli, and produces; and apparel and small appliances.
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