Capital Investment Counsel Inc increased its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 0.3% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 81,775 shares of the retailer’s stock after acquiring an additional 265 shares during the quarter. Costco Wholesale comprises about 7.3% of Capital Investment Counsel Inc’s holdings, making the stock its 2nd biggest holding. Capital Investment Counsel Inc’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $19,801,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Nordea Investment Management AB lifted its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 2.2% in the third quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 23,808 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,591,000 after purchasing an additional 517 shares during the period. Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 888.4% in the third quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 63,958 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $15,022,000 after purchasing an additional 57,487 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 0.4% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 35,457,639 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $8,328,292,000 after purchasing an additional 158,722 shares during the period. Sit Investment Associates Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 36.7% in the fourth quarter. Sit Investment Associates Inc. now owns 875 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $178,000 after purchasing an additional 235 shares during the period. Finally, Personal Capital Advisors Corp lifted its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. Personal Capital Advisors Corp now owns 220,391 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $44,896,000 after purchasing an additional 2,674 shares during the period. 72.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Shares of COST opened at $248.35 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. The stock has a market cap of $108.84 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.49 and a beta of 0.94. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 12-month low of $189.51 and a 12-month high of $250.05.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 10th will be given a $0.65 dividend. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.05%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 9th. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is currently 38.07%.
Costco Wholesale declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Friday, April 26th that permits the company to repurchase $4.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the retailer to reacquire up to 3.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
Several analysts recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Costco Wholesale from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $243.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, March 11th. Loop Capital raised their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $260.00 to $265.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Oppenheimer raised their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $245.00 to $270.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 17th. Wells Fargo & Co raised their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $225.00 to $240.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $265.00 price objective (up previously from $250.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Costco Wholesale presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $249.90.
In other news, Director John W. Meisenbach acquired 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 1st. The stock was acquired at an average price of $242.65 per share, with a total value of $727,950.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 12,833 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,113,927.45. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Richard A. Galanti sold 4,188 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $230.47, for a total transaction of $965,208.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 30,082 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,932,998.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 8,587 shares of company stock valued at $2,004,576. Company insiders own 0.21% 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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