Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) was the recipient of a large decline in short interest during the month of December. As of December 29th, there was short interest totalling 9,733,639 shares, a decline of 17.3% from the December 15th total of 11,765,977 shares. Approximately 2.2% of the shares of the company are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 2,186,073 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.5 days.

Shares of Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) opened at $191.84 on Friday. Costco Wholesale has a 1 year low of $150.00 and a 1 year high of $195.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $84,250.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.12 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.43.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 14th. The retailer reported $1.36 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.35 by $0.01. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 23.39% and a net margin of 2.09%. The firm had revenue of $31.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.01 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.24 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale will post 6.59 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, VP Richard A. Galanti sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $191.62, for a total value of $958,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 32,880 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,300,465.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Richard A. Galanti sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $170.95, for a total value of $512,850.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 35,225 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $6,021,713.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 87,027 shares of company stock valued at $15,872,935. Corporate insiders own 0.58% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in COST. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 3,005.9% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,180,770 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $668,630,000 after purchasing an additional 4,046,164 shares during the last quarter. Capital World Investors grew its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 6.0% during the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 17,777,162 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,843,102,000 after purchasing an additional 1,007,720 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 2.9% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 33,640,766 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,380,168,000 after purchasing an additional 937,121 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 14.4% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 6,805,874 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,118,138,000 after purchasing an additional 858,969 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 2.9% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 24,905,256 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,983,097,000 after purchasing an additional 703,825 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.91% of the company’s stock.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on COST shares. Zacks Investment Research lowered Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 18th. Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $200.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Monday, September 25th. Vetr lowered Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $183.04 target price for the company. in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Guggenheim restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co set a $170.00 target price on Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 5th. Nine investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-one have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Costco Wholesale has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $188.90.

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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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