Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) to Hold

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Costco continues to be one of the dominant retail wholesalers based on the breadth and quality of merchandise offered. The stock has outpaced the industry in a year. This came on the backdrop of continued sturdy comps performance and upbeat results in third-quarter fiscal 2017, thereby sidelining the woes, which have gripped the brick-and-mortar retailers for some time now. Major chains are grappling with soft store and mall traffic as consumers choose to shop online. But Costco seems somewhat unfazed by tough retail scenario. We believe that the hike in annual membership fees and increased penetration of Citi Visa co-brand card program will also benefit the stock in the near term. We are also encouraged by Costco’s expansion strategy, as it remains committed to opening new clubs and expanding e-Commerce capabilities. However, stiff competition and cautious consumer spending remain causes of concern. Of late, estimates have been stable.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on COST. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from $185.00 to $191.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Royal Bank Of Canada lifted their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from $182.00 to $190.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $185.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, May 27th. BMO Capital Markets set a $195.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Friday, May 26th. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. Costco Wholesale Corporation presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $179.37.

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) opened at 161.56 on Monday. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 12-month low of $142.11 and a 12-month high of $183.18. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $157.91 and its 200-day moving average is $165.08. The firm has a market capitalization of $70.86 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.05 and a beta of 0.93.

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In other news, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.59, for a total transaction of $157,590.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 6,974 shares in the company, valued at $1,099,032.66. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Insiders have sold 3,000 shares of company stock valued at $477,120 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 4.1% during the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,248,905 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $544,809,000 after acquiring an additional 129,106 shares during the last quarter. Mechanics Bank Trust Department grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 4.8% during the second quarter. Mechanics Bank Trust Department now owns 33,556 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,366,000 after acquiring an additional 1,529 shares during the last quarter. Main Street Research LLC grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 4.9% during the first quarter. Main Street Research LLC now owns 64,704 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $10,850,000 after acquiring an additional 3,023 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 3.1% during the first quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 44,405 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $7,446,000 after acquiring an additional 1,350 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 1.3% during the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 6,254,387 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,048,798,000 after acquiring an additional 79,201 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.35% of the company’s stock.

Costco Wholesale Corporation Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

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