Confluence Investment Management LLC decreased its holdings in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 11.3% in the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 1,453 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 185 shares during the period. Confluence Investment Management LLC’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $352,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in COST. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 20,897.6% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 33,652,688 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $165,000 after acquiring an additional 33,492,419 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new position in Costco Wholesale during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $868,633,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 2.6% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 28,778,155 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,862,398,000 after buying an additional 736,711 shares during the last quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 120.7% during the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 754,195 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $153,637,000 after buying an additional 412,400 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 6.8% during the fourth quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 6,036,155 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,227,757,000 after buying an additional 386,144 shares during the last quarter. 72.22% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of equities analysts recently commented on COST shares. BidaskClub lowered Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. Telsey Advisory Group reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Costco Wholesale from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on Costco Wholesale to $248.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $249.90.
In other news, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,049 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $232.00, for a total value of $475,368.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 48,589 shares in the company, valued at $11,272,648. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director John W. Meisenbach purchased 3,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 1st. The stock was acquired at an average price of $242.65 per share, for a total transaction of $727,950.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 12,833 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,113,927.45. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 8,587 shares of company stock worth $2,004,576. Company insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.
Shares of NASDAQ:COST traded down $0.42 during trading on Wednesday, hitting $249.51. The company had a trading volume of 1,094,386 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,959,880. The firm has a market capitalization of $109.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.53, a PEG ratio of 3.50 and a beta of 0.94. Costco Wholesale Co. has a one year low of $189.51 and a one year high of $251.01. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.46.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The retailer reported $2.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.34. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 25.53% and a net margin of 2.34%. The business had revenue of $35.40 billion during the quarter. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.59 earnings per share. As a group, analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 7.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 10th will be issued a $0.65 dividend. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.04%. This is an increase from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 9th. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.07%.
Costco Wholesale declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Friday, April 26th that permits the company to buyback $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the retailer to purchase up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
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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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