Montag & Caldwell LLC reduced its stake in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 20.4% during the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the SEC. The fund owned 2,231 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 572 shares during the period. Montag & Caldwell LLC’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $590,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Regent Investment Management LLC increased its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 43.5% in the 1st quarter. Regent Investment Management LLC now owns 1,485 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $360,000 after acquiring an additional 450 shares during the last quarter. Great Valley Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale in the 2nd quarter worth $470,000. Beese Fulmer Investment Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale in the 2nd quarter worth $4,462,000. Raymond James & Associates grew its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 8.5% in the 1st quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 467,707 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $113,252,000 after buying an additional 36,675 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. grew its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 17.4% in the 1st quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 182,589 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $44,218,000 after buying an additional 27,026 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.20% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities analysts have commented on the stock. BMO Capital Markets set a $275.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, May 31st. Wells Fargo & Co lifted their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $225.00 to $240.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Raymond James lifted their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $260.00 to $300.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 18th. Goldman Sachs Group assumed coverage on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Thursday, July 11th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $290.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Oppenheimer lifted their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $270.00 to $295.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 10th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $266.04.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 30th. The retailer reported $1.89 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.83 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $34.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $34.72 billion. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.41% and a return on equity of 25.03%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $1.70 EPS. Equities research analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 8.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 30th will be given a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 29th. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.96%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.07%.
Costco Wholesale announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Friday, April 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $4.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to repurchase up to 3.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Costco Wholesale news, VP James P. Murphy sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $265.85, for a total value of $2,658,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 45,100 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,989,835. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider James C. Klauer sold 5,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $255.53, for a total transaction of $1,277,650.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 48,310 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $12,344,654.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 28,136 shares of company stock valued at $7,380,374. 0.21% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
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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