Costco Wholesale Co. (COST) Earns “Buy” Rating from Stifel Nicolaus

Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reiterated by Stifel Nicolaus in a research report issued on Thursday, May 4th. They currently have a $185.00 target price on the retailer’s stock. Stifel Nicolaus’ target price indicates a potential upside of 2.23% from the company’s previous close.

COST has been the topic of several other research reports. Barclays PLC raised shares of Costco Wholesale from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $170.00 to $185.00 in a research report on Thursday, April 20th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $180.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Friday, March 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group Inc reaffirmed a “conviction-buy” rating and set a $187.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Saturday, January 21st. Vetr raised shares of Costco Wholesale from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $175.48 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 19th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Thursday, April 6th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating, twenty have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $182.59.

Analyst Recommendations for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) opened at 180.97 on Thursday. Costco Wholesale has a 52-week low of $142.11 and a 52-week high of $183.18. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $174.08 and a 200 day moving average price of $166.54. The company has a market capitalization of $79.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.42 and a beta of 0.89.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 25th. The retailer reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.31 by $0.09. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.02% and a return on equity of 20.06%. The business had revenue of $28.86 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $28.57 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.24 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Costco Wholesale will post $5.76 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a special dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 26th. Investors of record on Wednesday, May 10th were paid a $7.00 dividend. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale’s previous special dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 10th. This represents a yield of 1.13%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 32.79%.

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In related news, VP Timothy L. Rose sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.95, for a total value of $667,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 44,049 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,353,980.55. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director James D. Sinegal sold 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, March 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.35, for a total transaction of $16,635,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 717,296 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $119,322,189.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 121,000 shares of company stock valued at $20,099,640 in the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in COST. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 54.6% in the third quarter. JFS Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 2,829 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $431,000 after buying an additional 999 shares during the last quarter. Schulhoff & Co. Inc. bought a new stake in Costco Wholesale during the third quarter worth about $210,000. Shikiar Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 5.0% in the third quarter. Shikiar Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,150 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $480,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. K.J. Harrison & Partners Inc bought a new stake in Costco Wholesale during the third quarter worth about $1,525,000. Finally, CGOV Asset Management bought a new stake in Costco Wholesale during the third quarter worth about $675,000. Institutional investors own 73.12% of the company’s stock.

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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