Nicolet Bankshares Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 3.4% during the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The institutional investor owned 5,462 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 194 shares during the quarter. Nicolet Bankshares Inc.’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $1,323,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. raised its position in Costco Wholesale by 125.9% in the 4th quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 122 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $25,000 after purchasing an additional 68 shares during the period. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 1st quarter worth about $26,000. ERTS Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter worth about $30,000. Arbor Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter worth about $33,000. Finally, PRW Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter worth about $36,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.22% of the company’s stock.

NASDAQ COST opened at $244.67 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.96. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 52-week low of $189.51 and a 52-week high of $248.70. The company has a market cap of $106.42 billion, a PE ratio of 35.82, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.41 and a beta of 0.94.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The retailer reported $2.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.34. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.34% and a return on equity of 25.53%. The firm had revenue of $35.40 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.59 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 7.92 earnings per share for the current year.

Costco Wholesale declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Friday, April 26th that allows the company to buyback $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the retailer to purchase up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 10th will be paid a dividend of $0.65 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 9th. This is an increase from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.06%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 38.07%.

In other news, VP Richard A. Galanti sold 4,188 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $230.47, for a total transaction of $965,208.36. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 30,082 shares in the company, valued at $6,932,998.54. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,350 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $240.00, for a total transaction of $564,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 46,239 shares in the company, valued at $11,097,360. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 8,587 shares of company stock worth $2,004,576. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on COST. Wells Fargo & Co increased their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $225.00 to $240.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, May 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 7th. Robert W. Baird upped their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $250.00 to $270.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Oppenheimer upped their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $245.00 to $270.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Finally, Nomura upped their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $230.00 to $235.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Costco Wholesale currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $249.90.

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Costco Wholesale 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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Want to see what other hedge funds are holding COST? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST).

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

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