Meridian Investment Counsel Inc. Takes Position in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST)

Meridian Investment Counsel Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) during the first quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund purchased 850 shares of the retailer’s stock, valued at approximately $206,000.

Several other hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in COST. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 20,897.6% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 33,652,688 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $165,000 after purchasing an additional 33,492,419 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter worth approximately $868,633,000. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 2.6% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 28,778,155 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,862,398,000 after purchasing an additional 736,711 shares during the last quarter. Ellis Investment Partners LLC grew its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 24,131.7% in the 1st quarter. Ellis Investment Partners LLC now owns 610,154 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $610,000 after purchasing an additional 607,636 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Two Sigma Advisers LP grew its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 120.7% in the 4th quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 754,195 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $153,637,000 after purchasing an additional 412,400 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.08% of the company’s stock.

In related news, insider James C. Klauer sold 5,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $255.53, for a total value of $1,277,650.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 48,310 shares in the company, valued at approximately $12,344,654.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,790 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $254.62, for a total transaction of $710,389.80. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 45,405 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,561,021.10. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 26,490 shares of company stock worth $6,938,835. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Costco Wholesale stock traded down $0.71 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $263.55. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,706,363 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,947,229. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $253.89. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 12-month low of $189.51 and a 12-month high of $268.94. The firm has a market cap of $116.82 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.59, a PEG ratio of 3.71 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 30th. The retailer reported $1.89 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.83 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $34.74 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.72 billion. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 25.03% and a net margin of 2.41%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.70 EPS. As a group, analysts predict that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 8.04 EPS for the current year.

Costco Wholesale announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Friday, April 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $4.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to buy up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

COST has been the topic of several recent research reports. Raymond James lifted their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $240.00 to $250.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, March 8th. Nomura lifted their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $230.00 to $235.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 11th. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $242.00 to $243.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, April 1st. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 11th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $220.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $253.27.

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

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