Vision Capital Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 1.9% in the 1st quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 18,975 shares of the retailer’s stock after acquiring an additional 345 shares during the quarter. Costco Wholesale comprises 1.3% of Vision Capital Management Inc.’s portfolio, making the stock its 26th biggest position. Vision Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $4,595,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
A number of other large investors have also recently made changes to their positions in COST. United Bank boosted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 13.9% in the first quarter. United Bank now owns 6,591 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,596,000 after buying an additional 804 shares during the period. Trust Co. of Vermont raised its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 1.2% during the first quarter. Trust Co. of Vermont now owns 42,500 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $10,291,000 after buying an additional 491 shares in the last quarter. Hotaling Investment Management LLC bought a new position in Costco Wholesale during the first quarter valued at about $788,000. Northstar Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 11.0% during the first quarter. Northstar Asset Management LLC now owns 1,760 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $426,000 after buying an additional 174 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sigma Planning Corp raised its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 9.2% during the first quarter. Sigma Planning Corp now owns 12,419 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $3,007,000 after buying an additional 1,047 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.14% of the company’s stock.
In other news, VP Patrick J. Callans sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $252.15, for a total transaction of $504,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 66,479 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,762,679.85. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,350 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $240.00, for a total transaction of $564,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 46,239 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $11,097,360. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 12,140 shares of company stock valued at $3,056,340. Company insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 30th. The retailer reported $1.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.83 by $0.06. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.41% and a return on equity of 25.03%. The company had revenue of $34.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $34.72 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.70 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 8.04 EPS for the current year.
Costco Wholesale declared that its board has approved a share buyback program on Friday, April 26th that allows the company to buyback $4.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the retailer to repurchase up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 24th. Investors of record on Friday, May 10th were paid a $0.65 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 9th. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.01%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is presently 38.07%.
A number of research firms have recently commented on COST. Bank of America set a $255.00 price objective on Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Raymond James lifted their price objective on Costco Wholesale from $240.00 to $250.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Evercore ISI began coverage on Costco Wholesale in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $260.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley set a $220.00 target price on Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Finally, Robert W. Baird lifted their target price on Costco Wholesale from $250.00 to $270.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 24th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Costco Wholesale has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $252.13.
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Costco Wholesale Company Profile
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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