Norris Perne & French LLP MI lowered its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) by 15.8% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 60,183 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 11,272 shares during the period. Costco Wholesale Corporation comprises 1.9% of Norris Perne & French LLP MI’s holdings, making the stock its 10th largest position. Norris Perne & French LLP MI’s holdings in Costco Wholesale Corporation were worth $10,092,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 43.4% in the first quarter. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. now owns 664 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 201 shares during the period. Barometer Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation during the first quarter valued at $168,000. New Capital Management LP purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at $201,000. Prescott Group Capital Management L.L.C. purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation during the first quarter valued at $201,000. Finally, Mascoma Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at $209,000. 73.87% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) opened at 167.11 on Friday. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 52 week low of $142.11 and a 52 week high of $183.18. The stock has a market cap of $73.29 billion, a PE ratio of 29.01 and a beta of 0.96. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $176.49 and a 200 day moving average of $168.68. Costco Wholesale Corporation also was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Friday. Traders purchased 4,563 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 643% compared to the average volume of 614 call options.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 25th. The retailer reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.31 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $28.86 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $28.57 billion. Costco Wholesale Corporation had a net margin of 2.06% and a return on equity of 20.45%. The company’s revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.24 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Costco Wholesale Corporation will post $5.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a special dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 26th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 10th were issued a dividend of $7.00 per share. This represents a yield of 1.13%. This is an increase from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous special dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 10th. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.66%.

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A number of research firms have commented on COST. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $185.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, April 1st. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Thursday, June 1st. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) downgraded shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “conviction-buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $195.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Friday. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $182.59.

In other Costco Wholesale Corporation news, Director James D. Sinegal sold 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, March 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.35, for a total transaction of $16,635,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 717,296 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $119,322,189.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, VP James P. Murphy sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $181.30, for a total transaction of $906,500.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 48,845 shares in the company, valued at $8,855,598.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 113,000 shares of company stock worth $18,992,900. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Costco Wholesale Corporation 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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