Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Deutsche Bank AG from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday, Marketbeat reports. They currently have a $167.11 price objective on the retailer’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $142.11.

COST has been the subject of several other reports. Barclays PLC set a $158.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 27th. Robert W. Baird set a $200.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 27th. Guggenheim reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Friday, March 3rd. BMO Capital Markets reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $180.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Friday, March 3rd. Finally, Cowen and Company set a $190.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, March 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and nineteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $181.49.

Analyst Recommendations for Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) traded down 2.20% during trading on Monday, reaching $163.44. The company had a trading volume of 8,933,128 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $71.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.38 and a beta of 0.96. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 12-month low of $142.11 and a 12-month high of $183.18. The stock 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 unusually large options trading activity on Friday. Stock traders purchased 4,563 call options on the stock. This is an increase of 643% compared to the typical daily volume of 614 call options.

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

The business also recently announced a special dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 26th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 10th were paid a dividend of $7.00 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 10th. This represents a dividend yield of 1.13%. This is a boost from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous special dividend of $0.45. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 34.66%.

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In other news, insider John D. Mckay sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $181.60, for a total transaction of $544,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 62,607 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,369,431.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP James P. Murphy sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $181.30, for a total transaction of $906,500.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 48,845 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,855,598.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 113,000 shares of company stock valued at $18,992,900 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 43.4% in the first quarter. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. now owns 664 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 16.7% in the first quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC now owns 700 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. CKW Financial Group boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 33.1% in the first quarter. CKW Financial Group now owns 804 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $135,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 142.1% in the first quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co. Ltd. now owns 920 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $154,000 after buying an additional 540 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Proficio Capital Partners LLC boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation 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 in the last quarter. 73.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Costco Wholesale Corporation

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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