Argent Trust Co lessened its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 1.4% during the first quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 18,179 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 253 shares during the quarter. Argent Trust Co’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $5,183,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
A number of other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in COST. Your Advocates Ltd. LLP purchased a new position in Costco Wholesale in the first quarter valued at about $28,000. Sageworth Trust Co acquired a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale during the fourth quarter valued at about $29,000. Tobias Financial Advisors Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale during the fourth quarter valued at about $29,000. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. acquired a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale during the fourth quarter valued at about $29,000. Finally, ERTS Wealth Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale during the fourth quarter valued at about $30,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.20% of the company’s stock.
In other Costco Wholesale news, VP James P. Murphy sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, April 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $310.00, for a total value of $1,550,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 42,771 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,259,010. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, CFO Richard A. Galanti sold 1,448 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $306.51, for a total value of $443,826.48. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 23,967 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,346,125.17. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 7,448 shares of company stock worth $2,308,656 in the last ninety days. 0.22% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, March 5th. The retailer reported $2.10 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.04. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 2.39%. The firm had revenue of $39.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $38.26 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $2.01 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year. Sell-side analysts forecast that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 8.55 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 1st were issued a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 30th. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.92%. This is a boost from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.19%.
Several analysts have recently weighed in on COST shares. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and set a $335.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday, April 9th. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on Costco Wholesale from $330.00 to $320.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, April 30th. Argus lifted their price target on Costco Wholesale from $330.00 to $350.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, March 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $328.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday, April 9th. Finally, Wolfe Research initiated coverage on Costco Wholesale in a research note on Tuesday, March 31st. They issued a “market perform” rating for the company. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and twenty-one have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Costco Wholesale has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $318.54.
Costco Wholesale Profile
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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