Investors Sell Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) on Strength (NASDAQ:COST)

Investors sold shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) on strength during trading hours on Tuesday. $149.66 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $174.50 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $24.84 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Costco Wholesale Corporation had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Costco Wholesale Corporation traded up $1.21 for the day and closed at $159.72

A number of research analysts have issued reports on the company. UBS AG raised Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, June 26th. Guggenheim reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. BidaskClub upgraded Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Vetr upgraded Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $168.75 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, July 24th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $195.00 target price on Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 26th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, twenty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $179.11.

The firm’s 50 day moving average is $155.32 and its 200 day moving average is $167.38. The stock has a market cap of $68.89 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.27 and a beta of 0.93. Costco Wholesale Corporation also saw some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Traders acquired 6,031 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 231% compared to the typical volume of 1,822 put options.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 25th. The retailer reported $1.40 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.31 by $0.09. Costco Wholesale Corporation had a net margin of 2.06% and a return on equity of 20.45%. The company had revenue of $28.86 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $28.57 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.24 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Corporation will post $5.77 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 18th will be given a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.27%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 16th. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 34.66%.

In other Costco Wholesale Corporation news, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.28, for a total transaction of $160,280.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 5,974 shares in the company, valued at $957,512.72. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Daniel M. Hines sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $181.32, for a total transaction of $906,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 28,786 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,219,477.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 15,000 shares of company stock worth $2,677,430. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Horan Capital Management acquired a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation during the first quarter valued at about $916,000. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 7.2% in the first quarter. Honkamp Krueger Financial Services Inc. now owns 4,865 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $816,000 after buying an additional 328 shares during the period. ELM Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 9.4% in the first quarter. ELM Advisors LLC now owns 3,775 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $633,000 after buying an additional 325 shares in the last quarter. Verus Financial Partners Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation during the first quarter worth approximately $215,000. Finally, Private Bank & Trust Co. raised its stake in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 2.8% in the first quarter. Private Bank & Trust Co. now owns 1,393 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $233,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 73.91% of the company’s stock.

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About Costco Wholesale Corporation

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.

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