Investors Sell Costco Wholesale (COST) on Strength After Insider Selling

Investors sold shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) on strength during trading on Friday after an insider sold shares in the company. $112.52 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $189.38 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $76.86 million out of the stock. Of all equities tracked, Costco Wholesale had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Costco Wholesale traded up $2.89 for the day and closed at $188.58Specifically, VP Roland Michael Vachris sold 5,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $187.98, for a total transaction of $977,496.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 15,694 shares in the company, valued at $2,950,158.12. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, VP Timothy L. Rose sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $193.20, for a total transaction of $966,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 52,529 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,148,602.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 108,185 shares of company stock valued at $20,583,577 over the last 90 days. 0.74% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on COST. BidaskClub lowered shares of Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Thursday, November 30th. Susquehanna Bancshares upped their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $205.00 to $215.00 and gave the stock a “positive” rating in a report on Friday, December 15th. Barclays reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $208.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Finally, Argus upped their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale to $200.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, February 12th. Nine research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty-one have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $190.76.

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The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a current ratio of 0.98. The firm has a market capitalization of $84,050.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.83, a PEG ratio of 3.06 and a beta of 0.97.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, March 7th. The retailer reported $1.42 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.45 by ($0.03). Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.18% and a return on equity of 25.41%. The company had revenue of $33 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $32.73 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.17 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts predict that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 6.71 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, March 2nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 16th were given a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 15th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.06%. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is currently 30.58%.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale in the second quarter valued at about $101,000. Wealthcare Advisory Partners LLC acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale in the third quarter valued at about $102,000. Jacobus Wealth Management Inc. acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale in the third quarter valued at about $103,000. Assetmark Inc. lifted its position in Costco Wholesale by 137.0% in the fourth quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 564 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $105,000 after buying an additional 326 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Shamrock Asset Management LLC lifted its position in Costco Wholesale by 171.3% in the third quarter. Shamrock Asset Management LLC now owns 662 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $109,000 after buying an additional 418 shares during the last quarter. 71.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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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