Tocqueville Asset Management L.P. increased its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 8.5% during the first quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 6,388 shares of the retailer’s stock after buying an additional 500 shares during the period. Tocqueville Asset Management L.P.’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $1,547,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Several other large investors have also made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 0.4% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 35,457,639 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $8,328,292,000 after acquiring an additional 158,722 shares during the last quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 1.7% during the 4th quarter. Livingston Group Asset Management CO operating as Southport Capital Management now owns 10,551 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,149,000 after acquiring an additional 172 shares during the last quarter. Bridge Creek Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 3.4% during the 4th quarter. Bridge Creek Capital Management LLC now owns 2,879 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $586,000 after acquiring an additional 95 shares during the last quarter. Truewealth LLC boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 2.6% during the 4th quarter. Truewealth LLC now owns 2,216 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $451,000 after acquiring an additional 56 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Landsberg Bennett & Dubbaneh LLC bought a new position in Costco Wholesale during the 4th quarter worth approximately $407,000. 71.32% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
COST traded down $0.28 during trading on Friday, reaching $248.25. The company had a trading volume of 15,829 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,958,495. 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 Co. has a 12 month low of $189.51 and a 12 month high of $251.01. The firm has a market cap of $108.87 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.35, a PEG ratio of 3.52 and a beta of 0.94.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The retailer reported $2.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.34. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.34% and a return on equity of 25.53%. The company had revenue of $35.40 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.59 earnings per share. On average, sell-side analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 7.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Costco Wholesale announced that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Friday, April 26th that allows the company to repurchase $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the retailer to purchase up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Stockholders 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 an increase from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.05%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.07%.
In other news, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,350 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $240.00, for a total value of $564,000.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 46,239 shares in the company, valued at $11,097,360. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Richard A. Galanti sold 4,188 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were 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 disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 8,587 shares of company stock worth $2,004,576 over the last quarter. 0.21% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several research analysts recently weighed in on COST shares. BidaskClub lowered shares of Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, January 25th. Telsey Advisory Group reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday, January 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Costco Wholesale from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 13th. Wells Fargo & Co reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale to $248.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Costco Wholesale presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $249.90.
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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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