Susan L. Decker Sells 2,790 Shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) Stock

Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,790 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $254.62, for a total transaction of $710,389.80. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 45,405 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,561,021.10. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website.

Shares of COST stock opened at $257.23 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. Costco Wholesale Co. has a one year low of $189.51 and a one year high of $259.61. The stock has a market cap of $113.07 billion, a PE ratio of 37.66, a P/E/G ratio of 3.61 and a beta of 0.91.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 30th. The retailer reported $1.89 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.83 by $0.06. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.41% and a return on equity of 25.03%. The business had revenue of $34.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.72 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.70 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 8.04 EPS for the current year.

Costco Wholesale declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Friday, April 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to reacquire up to 3.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 10th were given a dividend of $0.65 per share. This is a boost from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 9th. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.01%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 38.07%.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Thor Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale during the first quarter worth about $35,000. Belpointe Asset Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 111.1% during the first quarter. Belpointe Asset Management LLC now owns 7,173 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,737,000 after purchasing an additional 3,775 shares during the last quarter. Meridian Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale during the first quarter worth about $378,000. Marshall Wace LLP lifted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 717.1% during the first quarter. Marshall Wace LLP now owns 17,927 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $4,341,000 after purchasing an additional 15,733 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 11.5% during the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 2,409,355 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $583,401,000 after purchasing an additional 249,464 shares during the last quarter. 71.14% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

COST has been the subject of a number of research reports. Bank of America set a $255.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Raymond James upped their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale from $240.00 to $250.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $260.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley set a $220.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, Robert W. Baird upped their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale from $250.00 to $270.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $252.13.

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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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