Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST)’s share price gapped up before the market opened on Monday after Vetr upgraded the stock from a sell rating to a hold rating. The stock had previously closed at $179.65, but opened at $186.53. Vetr now has a $186.56 price target on the stock. Costco Wholesale shares last traded at $192.73, with a volume of 8451801 shares.

A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on COST. BMO Capital Markets upgraded shares of Costco Wholesale from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $192.73 to $215.00 in a research report on Monday. Susquehanna Bancshares boosted their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $205.00 to $215.00 and gave the stock a “positive” rating in a research report on Friday. Oppenheimer restated a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Friday. Morgan Stanley set a $175.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, Cowen set a $214.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $186.65.

In other news, VP Timothy L. Rose sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $193.20, for a total transaction of $966,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 52,529 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,148,602.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, November 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.97, for a total value of $161,970.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 8,654 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,401,688.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 37,842 shares of company stock valued at $6,486,848 in the last 90 days. 0.74% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. acquired a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $101,000. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC acquired a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $102,000. Jacobus Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $103,000. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $107,000. Finally, Shamrock Asset Management LLC raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 171.3% in the 3rd quarter. Shamrock Asset Management LLC now owns 662 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $109,000 after purchasing an additional 418 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.49% of the company’s stock.

The company has a market capitalization of $84,720.00, a PE ratio of 32.07, a PEG ratio of 3.12 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a current ratio of 0.99.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 14th. The retailer reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $31.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.01 billion. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 2.09%. The business’s revenue was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.24 EPS. sell-side analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 6.5 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Investors of record on Friday, November 17th were given a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.04%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 16th. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is currently 32.95%.

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Costco Wholesale Company Profile

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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