Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) shares shot up 4.6% during trading on Thursday . The stock traded as high as $163.89 and last traded at $163.19, with a volume of 4,038,328 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $156.01.

Several brokerages have commented on COST. Piper Jaffray Cos. reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $171.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. Argus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $175.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a report on Tuesday. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $175.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a report on Thursday, June 30th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a report on Saturday, June 4th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. Costco Wholesale Corp. presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $172.34.

The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $153.68 and its 200-day moving average price is $152.31. The firm has a market capitalization of $72.47 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.27.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 25th. The retailer reported $1.24 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.23 by $0.01. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.11 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Costco Wholesale Corp. will post $5.30 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Goelzer Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in Costco Wholesale Corp. by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Goelzer Investment Management Inc. now owns 31,130 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,027,000 after buying an additional 92 shares during the last quarter. Brown Advisory Securities LLC boosted its position in Costco Wholesale Corp. by 1.0% in the fourth quarter. Brown Advisory Securities LLC now owns 10,425 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,681,000 after buying an additional 108 shares during the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. boosted its position in Costco Wholesale Corp. by 0.9% in the fourth quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 14,754 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,382,000 after buying an additional 136 shares during the last quarter. Azimuth Capital Management LLC boosted its position in Costco Wholesale Corp. by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Azimuth Capital Management LLC now owns 45,929 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $7,418,000 after buying an additional 154 shares during the last quarter. Finally, WMS Partners LLC boosted its position in Costco Wholesale Corp. by 2.7% in the fourth quarter. WMS Partners LLC now owns 6,317 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,020,000 after buying an additional 169 shares during the last quarter.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (Costco) is engaged in the operation of membership warehouses in the United States (U.S.) and Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom (U.K.), Mexico, Japan, Australia, Spain, and through majority-owned subsidiaries in Taiwan and Korea. The Company operated 663 membership warehouses and an average warehouse is approximately 144,000 square feet.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.