Argent Trust Co decreased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 1.4% in the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel reports. 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 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of the company. Your Advocates Ltd. LLP bought a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale during the first quarter worth $28,000. Sageworth Trust Co bought a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale during the fourth quarter worth $29,000. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. bought a new position in Costco Wholesale in the fourth quarter valued at $29,000. Tobias Financial Advisors Inc. bought a new position in Costco Wholesale in the fourth quarter valued at $29,000. Finally, Key Financial Inc bought a new position in Costco Wholesale in the first quarter valued at $32,000. 69.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
COST has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Royal Bank of Canada raised their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $343.00 to $350.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, March 6th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $335.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Wednesday, May 6th. Cleveland Research raised shares of Costco Wholesale from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, March 2nd. Gordon Haskett raised shares of Costco Wholesale from an “accumulate” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 17th. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday. One equities 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 stock. Costco Wholesale currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $318.54.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, March 5th. The retailer reported $2.10 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $39.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $38.26 billion. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.39% and a return on equity of 23.41%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $2.01 EPS. Sell-side analysts forecast that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 8.55 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 1st were given a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, April 30th. This is a boost from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. This represents a $2.80 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.92%. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is presently 34.19%.
In related news, CFO Richard A. Galanti sold 1,448 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $306.51, for a total transaction of $443,826.48. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 23,967 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,346,125.17. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 1,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $314.83, for a total transaction of $314,830.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 32,582 shares in the company, valued at $10,257,791.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 7,448 shares of company stock valued at $2,308,656 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.
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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