Vetr downgraded shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has $183.04 price target on the retailer’s stock.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on COST. UBS AG upgraded shares of Costco Wholesale from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report on Monday, June 26th. Sanford C. Bernstein restated a hold rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Thursday, July 6th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale from $180.00 to $190.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, May 31st. Cowen and Company restated an outperform rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus set a $173.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $179.40.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ COST) opened at 164.29 on Wednesday. Costco Wholesale has a 1-year low of $142.11 and a 1-year high of $183.18. The company has a market capitalization of $72.06 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.52 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a 50-day moving average of $157.91 and a 200-day moving average of $165.08. Costco Wholesale also saw some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock traders purchased 6,031 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 231% compared to the typical volume of 1,822 put options.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th were issued a $0.50 dividend. This is an increase from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.22%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 16th. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is 34.66%.

In related news, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $159.25, for a total transaction of $159,250.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 4,974 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $792,109.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Insiders have sold 3,000 shares of company stock worth $477,120 over the last three months. 0.74% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in COST. Waldron LP purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale during the first quarter worth $223,000. Palo Capital Inc. boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 0.7% during the first quarter. Palo Capital Inc. now owns 7,619 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,278,000 after buying an additional 56 shares in the last quarter. Schmidt P J Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 11.5% during the first quarter. Schmidt P J Investment Management Inc. now owns 2,175 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $365,000 after buying an additional 225 shares in the last quarter. iAB Financial Bank boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 7.9% during the first quarter. iAB Financial Bank now owns 4,346 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $729,000 after buying an additional 319 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 1.3% during the first quarter. Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC now owns 2,082 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $349,000 after buying an additional 26 shares in the last quarter. 72.35% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Costco Wholesale

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.

To view Vetr’s full report, visit Vetr’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

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