Covington Capital Management Boosts Holdings in Costco Wholesale Co. (COST)

Covington Capital Management boosted its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 4.4% during the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 93,426 shares of the retailer’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,929 shares during the period. Costco Wholesale comprises about 1.2% of Covington Capital Management’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 24th biggest position. Covington Capital Management’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $14,942,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Several other institutional investors have also made changes to their positions in COST. Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 107.8% during the first quarter. Dai Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd now owns 67,456 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $11,312,000 after acquiring an additional 35,000 shares during the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 0.4% during the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 120,095 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $20,139,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Blair William & Co. IL increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 4.6% during the first quarter. Blair William & Co. IL now owns 613,112 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $104,119,000 after acquiring an additional 26,929 shares during the last quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 0.8% during the first quarter. Accredited Investors Inc. now owns 2,150 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $361,000 after acquiring an additional 17 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Miracle Mile Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale during the first quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.87% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently commented on COST. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Friday, December 15th. Susquehanna Bancshares increased their price objective on Costco Wholesale from $205.00 to $215.00 and gave the stock a “positive” rating in a research note on Friday, December 15th. BMO Capital Markets raised Costco Wholesale from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $192.73 to $215.00 in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Vetr raised Costco Wholesale from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $186.56 price objective on the stock in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Finally, Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $208.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Eleven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $187.32.

Costco Wholesale Co. (COST) traded down $0.50 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $186.12. The stock had a trading volume of 2,028,257 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,940,449. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 52-week low of $150.00 and a 52-week high of $195.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57, a current ratio of 0.98 and a quick ratio of 0.43. The firm has a market cap of $81,945.94, a PE ratio of 29.59, a PEG ratio of 3.14 and a beta of 0.98.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 14th. The retailer reported $1.36 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $31.81 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $31.01 billion. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.09% and a return on equity of 23.39%. Costco Wholesale’s quarterly revenue was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.24 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 6.52 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Investors of record on Friday, November 17th were paid a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.07%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 16th. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is presently 31.80%.

In other Costco Wholesale news, VP Paul G. Moulton sold 4,381 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $168.16, for a total value of $736,708.96. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 52,858 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,888,601.28. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Timothy L. Rose sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 52,529 shares in the company, valued at $10,148,602.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 57,842 shares of company stock worth $10,347,448 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

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Costco Wholesale Company Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

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