Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) Sees Large Decline in Short Interest

Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) was the target of a large decrease in short interest in January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 5,120,000 shares, a decrease of 9.4% from the January 15th total of 5,650,000 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 1,980,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 2.6 days. Currently, 1.2% of the company’s shares are short sold.

Several brokerages recently commented on COST. Tigress Financial restated a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Friday, January 31st. Robert W. Baird restated a “buy” rating and issued a $325.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Wednesday, February 5th. Loop Capital restated a “buy” rating and issued a $345.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Monday, February 3rd. Nomura restated a “hold” rating and issued a $300.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Monday, January 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada upped their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $329.00 to $334.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Friday, December 13th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and fifteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $303.83.

Shares of COST traded up $0.11 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $318.31. 1,113,716 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a fifty day moving average of $303.41 and a two-hundred day moving average of $294.49. Costco Wholesale has a twelve month low of $214.04 and a twelve month high of $319.81.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 12th. The retailer reported $1.73 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.71 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $37.04 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $37.40 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $1.61 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, research analysts predict that Costco Wholesale will post 8.61 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, February 21st. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 7th will be paid a dividend of $0.65 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 6th. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.82%.

In related news, Director Susan L. Decker sold 3,850 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $300.41, for a total value of $1,156,578.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 34,582 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,388,778.62. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Patrick J. Callans sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $293.99, for a total transaction of $587,980.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 59,679 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,545,029.21. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.22% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in COST. Johanson Financial Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 30,151.3% during the 4th quarter. Johanson Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 1,135,330 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,858,000 after purchasing an additional 1,131,577 shares during the last quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 343.7% during the 3rd quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC now owns 629,864 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $181,470,000 after purchasing an additional 487,907 shares during the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 29.0% during the 4th quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,216,549 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $357,569,000 after purchasing an additional 273,483 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp grew its stake in Costco Wholesale by 25.2% in the 4th quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 1,257,053 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $369,235,000 after buying an additional 252,634 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Prudential Financial Inc. grew its stake in Costco Wholesale by 56.9% in the 4th quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 685,197 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $201,393,000 after buying an additional 248,358 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 70.03% of the company’s stock.

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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