Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) was the target of unusually large options trading on Thursday. Stock investors purchased 6,031 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 231% compared to the typical daily volume of 1,822 put options.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on the company. UBS AG raised Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, June 26th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a report on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub raised Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $176.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, September 12th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $195.00 price target on Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, May 26th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $179.23.

In other news, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was 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 approximately $792,109.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders have sold a total of 3,000 shares of company stock worth $477,120 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Westside Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,114 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $168,000 after purchasing an additional 3 shares in the last quarter. Brightworth grew its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Brightworth now owns 1,334 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $213,000 after purchasing an additional 4 shares in the last quarter. Pioneer Trust Bank N A OR grew its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Pioneer Trust Bank N A OR now owns 1,659 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $266,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. SVA Plumb Wealth Management LLC grew its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. SVA Plumb Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,527 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $404,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers grew its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.5% during the 2nd quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 1,390 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $223,000 after purchasing an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. 72.50% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) opened at 162.30 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $71.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.18 and a beta of 0.93. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $157.60 and its 200-day moving average price is $165.44. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 12 month low of $142.11 and a 12 month high of $183.18.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 18th were paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.23%. This is a boost from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 16th. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s payout ratio is presently 34.66%.

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Costco Wholesale Corporation 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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