Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund reduced its holdings in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 10.4% in the first quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 122,440 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 14,200 shares during the period. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $34,911,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 0.5% in the 4th quarter. State Street Corp now owns 18,460,945 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,426,041,000 after acquiring an additional 93,587 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale by 4.9% in the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 6,496,150 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,905,225,000 after purchasing an additional 300,809 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 1.0% in the 1st quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 4,621,092 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,317,613,000 after purchasing an additional 45,677 shares during the period. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $1,337,357,000. Finally, Fisher Asset Management LLC raised its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 1.2% during the 1st quarter. Fisher Asset Management LLC now owns 3,076,039 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $877,071,000 after buying an additional 37,808 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.20% of the company’s stock.
In other news, CFO Richard A. Galanti sold 1,448 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $306.51, for a total transaction of $443,826.48. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 23,967 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,346,125.17. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP James P. Murphy sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $310.00, for a total value of $1,550,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 42,771 shares in the company, valued at $13,259,010. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 7,448 shares of company stock valued at $2,308,656. 0.22% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 5th. The retailer reported $2.10 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.06 by $0.04. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 2.39%. The company had revenue of $39.10 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $38.26 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.01 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 10.5% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts forecast that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 8.55 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 15th. Investors of record on Friday, May 1st were issued a $0.70 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, April 30th. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.93%. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.65. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is currently 34.19%.
A number of research analysts have recently commented on COST shares. Deutsche Bank cut their target price on Costco Wholesale from $292.00 to $290.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, May 7th. Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $310.00 to $330.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 6th. Raymond James boosted their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $315.00 to $325.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday, March 6th. BidaskClub lowered shares of Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Finally, Cleveland Research raised shares of Costco Wholesale from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, March 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and twenty-one have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $318.54.
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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