Liberty Capital Management Inc. Decreases Stake in Costco Wholesale Co. (COST)

Liberty Capital Management Inc. reduced its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 0.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 20,596 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 106 shares during the period. Costco Wholesale makes up about 2.1% of Liberty Capital Management Inc.’s investment portfolio, making the stock its 11th largest position. Liberty Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $3,454,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale during the fourth quarter worth approximately $553,367,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 35.2% in the fourth quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,819,713 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $451,464,000 after buying an additional 733,500 shares during the last quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 1,607.3% in the fourth quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 769,613 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $123,279,000 after buying an additional 724,536 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley increased its position in Costco Wholesale by 17.2% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 4,722,152 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $720,175,000 after buying an additional 693,510 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alyeska Investment Group L.P. acquired a new position in Costco Wholesale during the fourth quarter worth approximately $94,176,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.12% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

Shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) traded up 0.36% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $170.77. The stock had a trading volume of 2,257,925 shares. The firm has a market cap of $74.96 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.50 and a beta of 0.89. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $168.11 and its 200-day moving average price is $160.94. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 12-month low of $138.57 and a 12-month high of $178.71.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 2nd. The retailer reported $1.17 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.36 by $0.19. The firm had revenue of $29.77 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $29.75 billion. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 20.06% and a net margin of 2.02%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.24 earnings per share. Equities research analysts forecast that Costco Wholesale Co. will post $5.66 EPS for the current year.

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COST has been the topic of a number of research reports. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Sunday, February 5th. Robert W. Baird restated an “outperform” rating and set a $180.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday, February 2nd. Barclays PLC set a $158.00 price target on Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 27th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc restated a “conviction-buy” rating and set a $187.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Saturday, January 21st. Finally, Cowen and Company restated an “outperform” rating and set a $170.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday, December 22nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Costco Wholesale has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $179.28.

In related news, VP Timothy L. Rose sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.95, for a total transaction of $667,800.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 44,049 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,353,980.55. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director James D. Sinegal sold 100,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.35, for a total transaction of $16,635,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 717,296 shares in the company, valued at approximately $119,322,189.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 125,948 shares of company stock worth $20,932,141 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

About Costco Wholesale

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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