Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) saw a significant decrease in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,120,000 shares, a decrease of 9.4% from the January 15th total of 5,650,000 shares. Approximately 1.2% of the company’s stock are short sold. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,980,000 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 2.6 days.
Several equities research analysts have recently weighed in on COST shares. Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on Costco Wholesale from $329.00 to $334.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, December 13th. Wells Fargo & Co boosted their price target on Costco Wholesale from $290.00 to $300.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, January 17th. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $328.00 price target on the stock. Nomura reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $300.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Monday, January 6th. Finally, Raymond James boosted their price target on Costco Wholesale from $300.00 to $315.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, December 13th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Costco Wholesale has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $303.83.
In other news, VP Patrick J. Callans sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $293.99, for a total value of $587,980.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 59,679 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,545,029.21. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 3,850 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $300.41, for a total value of $1,156,578.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 34,582 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,388,778.62. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.22% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
NASDAQ COST traded up $0.11 on Friday, hitting $318.31. 1,113,450 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,003,878. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $303.41 and a 200 day moving average of $294.49. Costco Wholesale has a twelve month low of $214.04 and a twelve month high of $319.81. The company has a market capitalization of $138.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 37.76, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.50 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.49 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 12th. The retailer reported $1.73 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.71 by $0.02. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 24.22% and a net margin of 2.42%. The firm had revenue of $37.04 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $37.40 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.61 earnings per share. Costco Wholesale’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts expect that Costco Wholesale will post 8.61 earnings per share for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 21st. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.65 per share. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.82%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 6th. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is currently 31.75%.
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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