Citigroup downgraded shares of Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research note published on Monday, MarketBeat.com reports. The brokerage currently has $238.00 price target on the retailer’s stock, down from their previous price target of $257.00.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on COST. Loop Capital set a $265.00 price objective on Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 10th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on Costco Wholesale from $220.00 to $245.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 7th. Deutsche Bank dropped their target price on Costco Wholesale from $226.00 to $223.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 5th. Zacks Investment Research cut Costco Wholesale from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, September 17th. Finally, Argus set a $255.00 target price on Costco Wholesale and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 21st. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eighteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Costco Wholesale has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $236.85.

Shares of NASDAQ:COST opened at $226.35 on Monday. Costco Wholesale has a 52-week low of $175.79 and a 52-week high of $245.16. The company has a market capitalization of $101.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.14, a PEG ratio of 2.96 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a current ratio of 1.02, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 4th. The retailer reported $2.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.34 by $0.02. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 24.67% and a net margin of 2.21%. The company had revenue of $44.41 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $44.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $2.08 earnings per share. Costco Wholesale’s revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts predict that Costco Wholesale will post 7.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 23rd. Investors of record on Friday, November 9th were paid a $0.57 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 8th. This represents a $2.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.01%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 33.38%.

In related news, insider W Craig Jelinek sold 22,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $223.52, for a total value of $5,029,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 322,958 shares in the company, valued at approximately $72,187,572.16. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Richard A. Galanti sold 4,163 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $227.23, for a total value of $945,958.49. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 32,270 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,332,712.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 61,312 shares of company stock valued at $13,847,852 in the last 90 days. 0.58% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of COST. MUFG Securities EMEA plc purchased a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale during the 2nd quarter valued at about $103,000. Parkside Investments LLC purchased a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale during the 3rd quarter valued at about $105,000. Wunderlich Capital Managemnt acquired a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale during the 3rd quarter valued at about $117,000. Bay Colony Advisory Group Inc d b a Bay Colony Advisors acquired a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale during the 2nd quarter valued at about $119,000. Finally, Lee Financial Co grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 63.7% during the 3rd quarter. Lee Financial Co now owns 555 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $130,000 after acquiring an additional 216 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 71.16% of the company’s stock.

About Costco Wholesale

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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