Bank of Nova Scotia increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) by 339.0% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 118,061 shares of the retailer’s stock after buying an additional 91,166 shares during the period. Bank of Nova Scotia’s holdings in Costco Wholesale Corporation were worth $19,798,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 43.4% in the first quarter. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. now owns 664 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 16.7% in the first quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC now owns 700 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $117,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. CKW Financial Group increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 33.1% in the first quarter. CKW Financial Group now owns 804 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $135,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 142.1% in the first quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. now owns 920 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $154,000 after buying an additional 540 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 2.3% in the first quarter. Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC now owns 972 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $163,000 after buying an additional 22 shares in the last quarter. 73.91% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) traded up 0.80% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $157.91. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 528,545 shares. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 1-year low of $142.11 and a 1-year high of $183.18. The company has a market cap of $69.26 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.41 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a 50-day moving average of $155.46 and a 200 day moving average of $167.57.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 25th. The retailer reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.31 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $28.86 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $28.57 billion. Costco Wholesale Corporation had a return on equity of 20.45% and a net margin of 2.06%. The business’s revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.24 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Corporation will post $5.77 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be given a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.28%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 16th. This is an increase from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s payout ratio is 34.66%.

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Several equities research analysts recently issued reports on the company. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Stifel Nicolaus set a $173.00 price objective on Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. BidaskClub raised Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Deutsche Bank AG set a $172.00 price objective on Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 31st. Finally, Robert W. Baird set a $200.00 price objective on Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $179.11.

In other news, insider John D. Mckay sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $181.60, for a total value of $544,800.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 62,607 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,369,431.20. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP James P. Murphy sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $181.30, for a total value of $906,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 48,845 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,855,598.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 15,000 shares of company stock worth $2,677,430. Company insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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