Costco Wholesale Co. (COST) Earns “Neutral” Rating from Guggenheim

Guggenheim restated their neutral rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) in a research report released on Friday morning. The firm currently has a $167.00 target price on the retailer’s stock.

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Citigroup Inc raised shares of Costco Wholesale from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, December 19th. Instinet reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $185.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Friday, January 6th. Stifel Nicolaus initiated coverage on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday, January 19th. They set a buy rating and a $185.00 price objective for the company. Vetr raised shares of Costco Wholesale from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $175.48 price objective for the company in a research note on Thursday, January 19th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $175.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Sunday, February 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Costco Wholesale currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $179.28.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) traded up 0.36% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $170.77. 2,256,399 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm has a market cap of $74.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.50 and a beta of 0.89. Costco Wholesale has a 52-week low of $138.57 and a 52-week high of $178.71. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $168.11 and a 200 day moving average price of $160.94.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last released its earnings results on Thursday, March 2nd. The retailer reported $1.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.19. The firm earned $29.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $29.75 billion. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.02% and a return on equity of 20.06%. Costco Wholesale’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.24 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale will post $5.66 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, insider John D. Mckay sold 4,948 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $168.25, for a total transaction of $832,501.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 64,532 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,857,509. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director James D. Sinegal sold 100,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.35, for a total value of $16,635,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 717,296 shares in the company, valued at $119,322,189.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 125,948 shares of company stock worth $20,932,141. 0.74% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Norinchukin Bank The raised its position in Costco Wholesale by 0.9% in the third quarter. Norinchukin Bank The now owns 45,564 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $6,949,000 after buying an additional 411 shares during the period. Chesley Taft & Associates LLC raised its position in Costco Wholesale by 2.6% in the third quarter. Chesley Taft & Associates LLC now owns 88,686 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $13,526,000 after buying an additional 2,214 shares during the period. Hosking Partners LLP raised its position in Costco Wholesale by 13.9% in the third quarter. Hosking Partners LLP now owns 520,001 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $79,305,000 after buying an additional 63,639 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in Costco Wholesale by 12.1% in the third quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 672,838 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $102,615,000 after buying an additional 72,678 shares during the period. Finally, Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado raised its position in Costco Wholesale by 5.8% in the third quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 764,116 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $116,535,000 after buying an additional 41,738 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.12% of the company’s stock.

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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