Zacks: Brokerages Anticipate Costco Wholesale Co. (COST) Will Announce Quarterly Sales of $34.80 Billion

Brokerages expect Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) to announce sales of $34.80 billion for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Four analysts have provided estimates for Costco Wholesale’s earnings. The highest sales estimate is $35.44 billion and the lowest is $34.42 billion. Costco Wholesale reported sales of $32.36 billion in the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 7.5%. The firm is expected to issue its next earnings report after the market closes on Thursday, May 30th.

On average, analysts expect that Costco Wholesale will report full-year sales of $152.24 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $151.72 billion to $152.64 billion. For the next year, analysts forecast that the company will report sales of $162.51 billion, with estimates ranging from $160.66 billion to $163.80 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are an average based on a survey of research firms that follow Costco Wholesale.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, March 7th. The retailer reported $2.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.34. The company had revenue of $35.40 billion for the quarter. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 25.53% and a net margin of 2.34%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.59 EPS.

COST has been the topic of several recent analyst reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, March 9th. Citigroup boosted their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $242.00 to $243.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Loop Capital boosted their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $260.00 to $265.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. UBS Group boosted their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale to $280.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, March 22nd. Finally, Nomura boosted their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $230.00 to $235.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Costco Wholesale currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $249.90.

In other Costco Wholesale news, Director John W. Meisenbach acquired 3,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 1st. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $242.65 per share, for a total transaction of $727,950.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 12,833 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,113,927.45. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,049 shares of the company’s 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 completion of the sale, the director now owns 48,589 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,272,648. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 8,587 shares of company stock valued at $2,004,576 over the last quarter. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of COST. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 20,897.6% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 33,652,688 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $165,000 after purchasing an additional 33,492,419 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Costco Wholesale during the fourth quarter valued at about $868,633,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 2.6% during the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 28,778,155 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,862,398,000 after acquiring an additional 736,711 shares during the period. Ellis Investment Partners LLC boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 24,131.7% during the first quarter. Ellis Investment Partners LLC now owns 610,154 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $610,000 after acquiring an additional 607,636 shares during the period. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 59.8% during the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,154,172 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $279,471,000 after acquiring an additional 431,987 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.22% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NASDAQ:COST opened at $244.67 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a current ratio of 0.96. Costco Wholesale has a 12-month low of $189.51 and a 12-month high of $248.70. The firm has a market cap of $106.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 35.82, a PEG ratio of 3.41 and a beta of 0.94.

The firm also recently disclosed 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. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 9th. 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 1.06%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is currently 38.07%.

Costco Wholesale announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Friday, April 26th that allows the company to repurchase $4.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization allows the retailer to repurchase up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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

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