Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) has been given a consensus rating of “Buy” by the thirty-one brokerages that are covering the firm, Marketbeat.com reports. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and twenty-one have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average twelve-month price target among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $212.43.

COST has been the topic of several analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on Costco Wholesale from $206.00 to $212.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, June 1st. Gordon Haskett downgraded Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to an “accumulate” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 25th. Citigroup increased their price target on Costco Wholesale from $222.00 to $250.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, July 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada increased their price target on Costco Wholesale to $213.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 29th. Finally, Argus increased their price target on Costco Wholesale from $200.00 to $220.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 30th.

In related news, VP James P. Murphy sold 15,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $219.22, for a total value of $3,288,300.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 33,834 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,417,089.48. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 3,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $195.45, for a total value of $586,350.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 8,654 shares in the company, valued at $1,691,424.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 41,491 shares of company stock worth $8,754,977. 0.58% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Park Avenue Securities LLC lifted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 12.8% in the 2nd quarter. Park Avenue Securities LLC now owns 3,158 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $657,000 after purchasing an additional 359 shares in the last quarter. Dean Capital Investments Management LLC purchased a new position in Costco Wholesale in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $592,000. WINTON GROUP Ltd lifted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 63.1% in the 1st quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 2,984 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $562,000 after purchasing an additional 1,155 shares in the last quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. YHB Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 54,053 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $11,296,000 after purchasing an additional 696 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Peachtree Investment Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 4.1% in the 2nd quarter. Peachtree Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 10,785 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,254,000 after purchasing an additional 425 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.53% of the company’s stock.

COST stock traded up $2.49 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $225.68. The stock had a trading volume of 1,978,558 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,210,490. The firm has a market capitalization of $96.62 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 38.78, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 0.47. Costco Wholesale has a 52-week low of $150.06 and a 52-week high of $225.88.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 31st. The retailer reported $1.70 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.68 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $32.36 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.89 billion. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 24.67% and a net margin of 2.16%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 12.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.40 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Costco Wholesale will post 6.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 14th. Investors of record on Friday, August 31st will be issued a $0.57 dividend. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.01%. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is 39.18%.

Costco Wholesale Company 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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Analyst Recommendations for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

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