Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Wednesday. Investors acquired 6,031 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 231% compared to the average daily volume of 1,822 put options.

Several equities analysts recently weighed in on the company. Wells Fargo & Company set a $170.00 price target on Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 5th. Citigroup Inc lifted their price target on Costco Wholesale Corporation from $155.00 to $187.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 6th. UBS Group AG (USA) reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $190.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $185.00 price objective on Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Finally, Morgan Stanley lowered Costco Wholesale Corporation from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $190.00 to $165.00 in a research note on Friday, October 6th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eighteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Costco Wholesale Corporation currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $178.50.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ COST) opened at $166.44 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a current ratio of 0.99. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 52 week low of $142.11 and a 52 week high of $183.18. The company has a market capitalization of $72.73 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.34, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.63 and a beta of 0.93.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 5th. The retailer reported $2.08 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.02 by $0.06. Costco Wholesale Corporation had a return on equity of 22.21% and a net margin of 2.08%. The company had revenue of $42.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $41.55 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.77 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 15.7% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Costco Wholesale Corporation will post 6.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.20%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 16th. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 32.89%.

In related news, Director Richard M. Libenson sold 2,350 shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $162.00, for a total value of $380,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 4,109 shares in the company, valued at approximately $665,658. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.59, for a total value of $157,590.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 6,974 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,099,032.66. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 15,350 shares of company stock valued at $2,477,680. 0.74% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Courier Capital LLC increased its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 10.2% during the third quarter. Courier Capital LLC now owns 13,456 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,210,000 after acquiring an additional 1,250 shares during the period. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC increased its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 18.1% during the third quarter. Global X MANAGEMENT CO LLC now owns 6,824 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,121,000 after acquiring an additional 1,047 shares during the period. WESPAC Advisors SoCal LLC increased its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 23.8% during the third quarter. WESPAC Advisors SoCal LLC now owns 5,070 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $832,000 after acquiring an additional 975 shares during the period. Steginsky Capital LLC increased its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 5.3% during the third quarter. Steginsky Capital LLC now owns 137,245 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $22,548,000 after acquiring an additional 6,868 shares during the period. Finally, Brown Advisory Securities LLC increased its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 3.9% during the third quarter. Brown Advisory Securities LLC now owns 11,888 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,953,000 after acquiring an additional 450 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.61% of the company’s stock.

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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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