BlackRock Inc. lessened its holdings in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 3.2% during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 26,388,861 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 872,044 shares during the quarter. BlackRock Inc. owned about 0.06% of Costco Wholesale worth $4,911,496,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in COST. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. purchased a new position in Costco Wholesale in the second quarter valued at approximately $101,000. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC purchased a new position in Costco Wholesale in the third quarter valued at approximately $102,000. Jacobus Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new position in Costco Wholesale in the third quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Shamrock Asset Management LLC lifted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 171.3% in the third quarter. Shamrock Asset Management LLC now owns 662 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 418 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zions Bancorporation lifted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 148.4% in the third quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 688 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $113,000 after purchasing an additional 411 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.88% of the company’s stock.
Several equities analysts recently commented on COST shares. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Friday, November 17th. Moffett Nathanson started coverage on Costco Wholesale in a research note on Monday, December 4th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. < JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a "buy" rating and issued a $200.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Monday, December 4th. Oppenheimer reiterated a "buy" rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday, November 30th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus boosted their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $179.00 to $185.00 and gave the company a "buy" rating in a report on Thursday, November 30th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-one have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of "Buy" and a consensus target price of $190.76.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, March 7th. The retailer reported $1.42 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.45 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $33 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.73 billion. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 24.74% and a net margin of 2.18%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.17 EPS. research analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 6.72 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 16th were issued a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, February 15th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.06%. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is currently 30.58%.
In related news, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $187.23, for a total value of $561,690.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 8,654 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,620,288.42. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Timothy L. Rose sold 17,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $185.33, for a total value of $3,150,610.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 34,903 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,468,572.99. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 108,185 shares of company stock worth $20,583,577. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.
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About Costco Wholesale
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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