Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) had its price objective upped by equities researchers at Stifel Nicolaus from $185.00 to $191.00 in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The firm presently has a “buy” rating on the retailer’s stock. Stifel Nicolaus’ price objective indicates a potential upside of 9.31% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other analysts also recently commented on COST. Gordon Haskett started coverage on Costco Wholesale in a research report on Tuesday, May 9th. They issued an “accumulate” rating and a $191.00 price objective for the company. Vetr upgraded Costco Wholesale from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $182.09 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, May 8th. Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Thursday, May 4th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Thursday, April 27th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $187.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Wednesday, April 26th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $180.38.

Analyst Recommendations for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) traded up 1.86% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $177.98. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,869,324 shares. The company has a market capitalization of $78.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.83 and a beta of 0.89. Costco Wholesale has a 1-year low of $142.11 and a 1-year high of $183.18. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $172.96 and its 200-day moving average price is $165.44. Costco Wholesale also was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Investors purchased 2,427 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 380% compared to the typical volume of 506 call options.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 25th. The retailer reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.31 by $0.09. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 20.06% and a net margin of 2.02%. The company had revenue of $28.86 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $28.57 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.24 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Costco Wholesale will post $5.65 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a special dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 26th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 10th will be given a $7.00 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 1.13%. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale’s previous special dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 10th. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is presently 32.79%.

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In other news, VP Timothy L. Rose sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.95, for a total value of $667,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 44,049 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,353,980.55. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director James D. Sinegal sold 17,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $164.52, for a total value of $2,796,840.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 792,594 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $130,397,564.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 121,000 shares of company stock worth $20,099,640. 0.74% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Pointe Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale during the first quarter worth $578,000. Proficio Capital Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 67.3% in the first quarter. Proficio Capital Partners LLC now owns 927 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $160,000 after buying an additional 373 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 0.7% in the first quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 301,254 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $50,517,000 after buying an additional 2,132 shares during the period. Ibex Wealth Advisors increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 2.7% in the first quarter. Ibex Wealth Advisors now owns 5,745 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $959,000 after buying an additional 149 shares during the period. Finally, Community Financial Services Group LLC increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 2.3% in the first quarter. Community Financial Services Group LLC now owns 33,494 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,617,000 after buying an additional 741 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.12% of the company’s stock.

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.

12 Month Chart for NASDAQ:COST

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