Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) – Analysts at Jefferies Group boosted their Q1 2018 earnings per share (EPS) estimates for shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday. Jefferies Group analyst D. Binder now anticipates that the retailer will earn $1.39 per share for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $1.33. Jefferies Group currently has a “Hold” rating and a $162.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group also issued estimates for Costco Wholesale’s Q2 2018 earnings at $1.42 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $2.18 EPS and FY2022 earnings at $9.09 EPS.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on COST. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $200.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday, August 31st. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $173.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Vetr lowered shares of Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $171.07 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, November 6th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $200.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Monday, December 4th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Costco Wholesale from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, September 19th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $179.50.

Shares of Costco Wholesale (COST) traded up $1.46 on Wednesday, hitting $189.77. 631,391 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,095,387. Costco Wholesale has a fifty-two week low of $150.00 and a fifty-two week high of $191.22. The firm has a market cap of $82,529.85, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.06 and a beta of 0.98. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.43.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 5th. The retailer reported $2.08 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.02 by $0.06. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.08% and a return on equity of 22.21%. The business had revenue of $42.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $41.55 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.77 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 15.7% on a year-over-year basis.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 17th were issued a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 16th. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is 32.89%.

In related news, Director Richard M. Libenson sold 2,350 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $162.00, for a total transaction of $380,700.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 4,109 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $665,658. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $164.92, for a total transaction of $164,920.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 6,974 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,150,152.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 32,842 shares of company stock worth $5,520,848. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in COST. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 4.1% in the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,248,905 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $544,809,000 after buying an additional 129,106 shares during the last quarter. Mechanics Bank Trust Department increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 4.8% during the second quarter. Mechanics Bank Trust Department now owns 33,556 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,366,000 after purchasing an additional 1,529 shares during the last quarter. Cadinha & Co. LLC increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 7.3% during the second quarter. Cadinha & Co. LLC now owns 124,642 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $19,934,000 after purchasing an additional 8,518 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 3.1% during the first quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 44,405 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $7,446,000 after purchasing an additional 1,350 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Intersect Capital LLC increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 143.4% during the second quarter. Intersect Capital LLC now owns 5,382 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $861,000 after purchasing an additional 3,171 shares during the last quarter. 71.49% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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.

Earnings History and Estimates for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

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