Zacks: Analysts Expect Costco Wholesale Co. (COST) Will Post Quarterly Sales of $34.88 Billion

Brokerages expect Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) to post sales of $34.88 billion for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five analysts have made estimates for Costco Wholesale’s earnings. The highest sales estimate is $35.44 billion and the lowest is $34.42 billion. Costco Wholesale posted sales of $32.36 billion in the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 7.8%. The business is scheduled to issue its next quarterly earnings report after the market closes on Thursday, May 30th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Costco Wholesale will report full-year sales of $152.48 billion for the current financial year, with estimates ranging from $151.72 billion to $153.93 billion. For the next financial year, analysts expect that the company will report sales of $163.04 billion, with estimates ranging from $160.66 billion to $166.22 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Costco Wholesale.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The retailer reported $2.01 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.67 by $0.34. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.34% and a return on equity of 25.53%. The firm had revenue of $35.40 billion during the quarter. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.59 earnings per share.

Several analysts have weighed in on the stock. Nomura initiated coverage on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $230.00 target price on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upped their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale to $248.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Deutsche Bank set a $225.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 7th. Finally, Robert W. Baird lifted their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $250.00 to $270.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. Eight research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Costco Wholesale has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $249.90.

In other news, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,350 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $240.00, for a total transaction of $564,000.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 46,239 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,097,360. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,049 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $232.00, for a total transaction of $475,368.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 48,589 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,272,648. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 8,587 shares of company stock valued at $2,004,576 in the last three months. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Ocean Capital Management LLC grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 1.2% during the first quarter. Ocean Capital Management LLC now owns 51,059 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $12,363,000 after acquiring an additional 607 shares during the last quarter. Diversified Trust Co grew its position in Costco Wholesale by 2.6% in the 1st quarter. Diversified Trust Co now owns 2,152 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $521,000 after buying an additional 54 shares during the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its position in Costco Wholesale by 20.2% in the 1st quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 18,982 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $4,597,000 after buying an additional 3,191 shares during the last quarter. B. Riley Wealth Management Inc. lifted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 8.1% in the first quarter. B. Riley Wealth Management Inc. now owns 4,560 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,104,000 after acquiring an additional 342 shares during the period. Finally, Weiss Asset Management LP acquired a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the first quarter valued at $223,000. 71.32% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Costco Wholesale stock traded down $0.98 during trading on Thursday, hitting $248.53. The stock had a trading volume of 1,822,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,958,495. Costco Wholesale has a 12 month low of $189.51 and a 12 month high of $251.01. The firm has a market capitalization of $109.94 billion, a PE ratio of 36.39, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.52 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34.

Costco Wholesale announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Friday, April 26th that permits the company to repurchase $4.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the retailer to buy up to 3.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.65 per share. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 9th. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.05%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.07%.

Costco Wholesale Company 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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Earnings History and Estimates for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

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