Comgest Global Investors S.A.S. reduced its stake in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 8.4% during the fourth quarter, HoldingsChannel.com reports. The fund owned 67,683 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 6,200 shares during the period. Costco Wholesale makes up about 0.3% of Comgest Global Investors S.A.S.’s portfolio, making the stock its 21st biggest position. Comgest Global Investors S.A.S.’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $13,788,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Several other institutional investors also recently bought and sold shares of COST. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund lifted its stake in shares of 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 acquiring an additional 33,492,419 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 55,048.5% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,504,928 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,292,998,000 after buying an additional 5,494,946 shares during the period. AQR Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 258.8% in the third quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 2,125,078 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $499,138,000 after buying an additional 1,532,770 shares during the period. Capital World Investors lifted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 12.0% in the third quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 9,908,138 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,327,223,000 after buying an additional 1,064,167 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 3.4% in the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 28,041,444 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $6,586,376,000 after buying an additional 919,651 shares during the period. 71.07% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
In related news, VP Richard A. Galanti sold 4,188 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $230.47, for a total transaction of $965,208.36. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 30,082 shares in the company, valued at $6,932,998.54. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 739 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $205.00, for a total value of $151,495.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 52,249 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,711,045. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 8,587 shares of company stock valued at $1,924,179 in the last quarter. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several brokerages have issued reports on COST. UBS Group boosted their price target on Costco Wholesale to $280.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday. BMO Capital Markets set a $258.00 price target on Costco Wholesale and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 14th. BidaskClub lowered Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. Barclays reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $225.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Wednesday, January 9th. Finally, Argus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $245.00 price target (down from $255.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Monday, December 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eighteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $244.57.
Shares of NASDAQ:COST opened at $237.56 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. Costco Wholesale Co. has a twelve month low of $180.83 and a twelve month high of $245.16. The company has a market cap of $105.37 billion, a PE ratio of 34.78, a PEG ratio of 3.40 and a beta of 0.94.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, March 7th. The retailer reported $2.01 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates 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 previous year, the company earned $1.59 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 7.9 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 22nd. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 8th were given a dividend of $0.57 per share. This represents a $2.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.96%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 7th. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is 33.38%.
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Costco Wholesale Profile
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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