Virtu Financial LLC reduced its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 31.7% during the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 7,755 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 3,592 shares during the period. Virtu Financial LLC’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $1,443,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale during the third quarter worth about $102,000. Jacobus Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale during the third quarter worth about $103,000. Shamrock Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 171.3% during the third quarter. Shamrock Asset Management LLC now owns 662 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 418 shares during the period. Zions Bancorporation grew its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 148.4% during the third quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 688 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $113,000 after acquiring an additional 411 shares during the period. Finally, Smithfield Trust Co. grew its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 150.2% during the third quarter. Smithfield Trust Co. now owns 808 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $133,000 after acquiring an additional 485 shares during the period. 72.79% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research firms recently issued reports on COST. BidaskClub lowered Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday. Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $205.00 price target (down previously from $209.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday. Vetr cut Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $195.68 price target on the stock. in a research note on Tuesday, February 20th. Argus lifted their price target on Costco Wholesale to $200.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, February 12th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $223.00 price target on Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 24th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-one have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $190.76.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, March 7th. The retailer reported $1.42 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by ($0.03). Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.18% and a return on equity of 24.74%. The business had revenue of $33 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $32.73 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.17 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 10.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 6.8 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 2nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 16th were issued a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 15th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.06%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is 30.58%.
In other news, insider Daniel M. Hines sold 5,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Monday, January 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $188.62, for a total transaction of $943,100.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 30,853 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,819,492.86. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director James D. Sinegal sold 30,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $192.06, for a total value of $5,761,800.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 746,209 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $143,316,900.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 108,185 shares of company stock valued at $20,583,577. 0.58% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
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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.
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