Today, Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) Now Covered by Analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.

Today, Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) Now Covered by Analysts at Wells Fargo & Co.

Equities research analysts at Wells Fargo & Co. initiated coverage on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, The Fly reports. The brokerage set a “market perform” rating on the retailer’s stock.

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on COST. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Costco Wholesale Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $195.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a report on Friday, September 30th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a report on Thursday, June 30th. Vetr raised Costco Wholesale Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, September 1st. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a report on Monday, September 12th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating, eighteen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $172.74.

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) opened at 148.70 on Tuesday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $152.67 and a 200 day moving average price of $156.01. Costco Wholesale Corp. has a one year low of $138.57 and a one year high of $169.73. The stock has a market cap of $65.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.90 and a beta of 0.71.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) last released its earnings results on Thursday, September 29th. The retailer reported $1.77 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.73 by $0.04. Costco Wholesale Corp. had a return on equity of 20.26% and a net margin of 1.98%. The firm had revenue of $35.73 billion for the quarter. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.73 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Corp. will post $5.95 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 18th. Investors of record on Friday, November 4th will be paid a dividend of $0.45 per share. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.21%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 2nd. Costco Wholesale Corp.’s dividend payout ratio is currently 33.71%.

In other Costco Wholesale Corp. news, Director James D. Sinegal sold 20,114 shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. stock in a transaction on Friday, October 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $149.02, for a total transaction of $2,997,388.28. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 768,136 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $114,467,626.72. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Timothy L. Rose sold 4,000 shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $151.12, for a total value of $604,480.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 51,045 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,713,920.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.78% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 1.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 29,810,741 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $4,681,478,000 after buying an additional 494,125 shares during the period. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 2.3% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 17,701,203 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,789,351,000 after buying an additional 395,068 shares during the period. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 39.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 14,278,020 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,249,930,000 after buying an additional 4,074,799 shares during the period. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 5.9% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,755,948 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,003,195,000 after buying an additional 707,695 shares during the period. Finally, Capital Research Global Investors raised its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 2.4% in the second quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 9,150,052 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,436,924,000 after buying an additional 218,052 shares during the period. 73.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Costco Wholesale Corp.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) is engaged in the operation of membership warehouses in the United States (U.S.) and Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom (U.K.), Mexico, Japan, Australia, Spain, and through majority-owned subsidiaries in Taiwan and Korea. The Company operated 663 membership warehouses and an average warehouse is approximately 144,000 square feet.

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