First Trust Advisors LP cut its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 64.1% during the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 45,743 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 81,847 shares during the quarter. First Trust Advisors LP’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $7,515,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in COST. Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd lifted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 107.8% during the 1st quarter. Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd now owns 67,456 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $11,312,000 after buying an additional 35,000 shares in the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System lifted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 0.4% during the 1st quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 120,095 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $20,139,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Blair William & Co. IL raised its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 4.6% in the 1st quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 613,112 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $104,119,000 after purchasing an additional 26,929 shares in the last quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 0.8% in the 1st quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 2,150 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $361,000 after purchasing an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Miracle Mile Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale in the 1st quarter valued at $202,000. Institutional investors own 71.49% of the company’s stock.

A number of equities research analysts have recently weighed in on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and issued a $200.00 price objective (up from $185.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Friday. Morgan Stanley set a $175.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday. Susquehanna Bancshares raised their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $205.00 to $215.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a report on Friday. Vetr lowered shares of Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $183.04 price objective on the stock. in a report on Wednesday, September 27th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Thursday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Costco Wholesale currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $184.20.

Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ COST) opened at $192.73 on Friday. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 52-week low of $150.00 and a 52-week high of $195.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a current ratio of 0.99. The stock has a market cap of $84,221.08, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.07, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.12 and a beta of 0.98.

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

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 17th were given a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.04%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 16th. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is currently 31.80%.

In other Costco Wholesale news, CFO Richard A. Galanti sold 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $170.95, for a total transaction of $512,850.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 35,225 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,021,713.75. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $164.92, for a total transaction of $164,920.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,974 shares in the company, valued at $1,150,152.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 32,842 shares of company stock worth $5,520,848 over the last three months. 0.74% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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

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