Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST – Get Rating) was the target of a significant growth in short interest during the month of December. As of December 30th, there was short interest totalling 4,440,000 shares, a growth of 5.5% from the December 15th total of 4,210,000 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 2,250,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.0 days. Approximately 1.0% of the company’s stock are short sold.
Insider Buying and Selling
In other Costco Wholesale news, Director Susan L. Decker sold 952 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction on Monday, December 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $483.00, for a total value of $459,816.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 18,920 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,138,360. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. In other news, Director Susan L. Decker sold 952 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $483.00, for a total value of $459,816.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 18,920 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,138,360. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Russell D. Miller sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $483.58, for a total value of $483,580.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 11,593 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,606,142.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.22% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Hedge Funds Weigh In On Costco Wholesale
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in COST. United Bank boosted its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 9.2% in the 1st quarter. United Bank now owns 5,254 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $3,026,000 after purchasing an additional 444 shares in the last quarter. Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. raised its stake in Costco Wholesale by 33.6% during the first quarter. Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. now owns 383,691 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $220,948,000 after acquiring an additional 96,566 shares in the last quarter. Covestor Ltd raised its stake in Costco Wholesale by 87.1% during the first quarter. Covestor Ltd now owns 232 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $134,000 after acquiring an additional 108 shares in the last quarter. Bridgefront Capital LLC bought a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale in the first quarter worth about $333,000. Finally, Next Century Growth Investors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 0.9% in the 1st quarter. Next Century Growth Investors LLC now owns 3,414 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,965,000 after purchasing an additional 30 shares in the last quarter. 66.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Costco Wholesale Stock Down 0.1 %
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST – Get Rating) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 8th. The retailer reported $3.10 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $3.14 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $54.44 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $54.67 billion. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.55% and a return on equity of 28.83%. On average, equities research analysts expect that Costco Wholesale will post 14.28 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Costco Wholesale Announces Dividend
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 17th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.90 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 2nd. This represents a $3.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.73%. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is 27.21%.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A number of analysts have commented on COST shares. Wells Fargo & Company cut their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale from $490.00 to $450.00 in a research note on Friday, December 9th. Cowen reduced their price target on Costco Wholesale from $650.00 to $600.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a report on Monday. Sanford C. Bernstein assumed coverage on Costco Wholesale in a research report on Tuesday, December 6th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $586.00 price target on the stock. Tigress Financial cut their price objective on Costco Wholesale from $678.00 to $635.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, December 21st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus decreased their target price on Costco Wholesale from $565.00 to $545.00 in a report on Friday, December 9th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, Costco Wholesale currently has an average rating of “Moderate Buy” and an average target price of $553.78.
About Costco Wholesale
Costco Wholesale Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the operation of membership warehouses in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, Korea, Australia, Spain, France, Iceland, China, and Taiwan. It offers branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise categories.
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