Costco Wholesale Co.’s Same-Store Sales Numbers Beat Analysts’ Estimates, Stock Climbs by 0.9% (NASDAQ:COST)

Costco Wholesale’s (NASDAQ:COST) same-store sales climbed 5.4% in the month of April. Costco Wholesale’s stock climbed by 0.9% in the first day of trading following the news.

A number of research analysts have commented on the company. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on Costco Wholesale from $247.00 to $261.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 11th. Robert W. Baird upped their target price on Costco Wholesale from $250.00 to $270.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 7th. Loop Capital upped their target price on Costco Wholesale from $260.00 to $265.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, April 1st. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co upped their target price on Costco Wholesale from $225.00 to $240.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $249.90.

In other news, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,049 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $232.00, for a total transaction of $475,368.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 48,589 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,272,648. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Richard A. Galanti sold 4,188 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $230.47, for a total value of $965,208.36. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 30,082 shares in the company, valued at $6,932,998.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 8,587 shares of company stock worth $2,004,576. Company insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NASDAQ COST traded down $5.10 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $241.92. 1,667,004 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,993,588. The stock has a market capitalization of $106.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.42, a PEG ratio of 3.44 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.46. Costco Wholesale has a one year low of $189.51 and a one year high of $248.70.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, March 7th. The retailer reported $2.01 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.34. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 25.53% and a net margin of 2.34%. The company had revenue of $35.40 billion for the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.59 earnings per share. Equities research analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale will post 7.91 EPS for the current year.

Costco Wholesale declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback program on Friday, April 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to repurchase up to 3.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Investors of record on Friday, May 10th will be issued a $0.65 dividend. This is a boost from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.07%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 9th. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 38.07%.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 125.9% in the 4th quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 122 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $25,000 after buying an additional 68 shares in the last quarter. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 1st quarter worth $26,000. ERTS Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter worth $30,000. Permanens Capital L.P. purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 1st quarter worth $31,000. Finally, Arbor Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter worth $33,000. 72.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Costco Wholesale

Costco Wholesale Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates membership warehouses. It offers branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise categories. The company provides dry and packaged foods, and groceries; snack foods, candies, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and cleaning supplies; appliances, electronics, health and beauty aids, hardware, and garden and patio products; meat, bakery, deli, and produces; and apparel and small appliances.

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