Investors sold shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ:COST) on strength during trading hours on Wednesday. $37.41 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $85.85 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $48.44 million out of the stock. Of all stocks tracked, Costco Wholesale Corp. had the 8th highest net out-flow for the day. Costco Wholesale Corp. traded up $0.21 for the day and closed at $167.57

A number of equities research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $135.00 price target (down from $142.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a report on Sunday, May 8th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a report on Saturday, June 4th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a research report on Saturday, July 9th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $175.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. in a research report on Saturday, July 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $173.47.

The firm has a market capitalization of $73.41 billion and a PE ratio of 31.67. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $166.96 and its 200-day moving average is $155.56.

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

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 26th. Investors of record on Friday, August 12th will be paid a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 10th. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.07%.

In related news, Director Jill S. Ruckelshaus sold 6,180 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $166.03, for a total value of $1,026,065.40. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 26,008 shares in the company, valued at $4,318,108.24. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 5,737 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $167.74, for a total value of $962,324.38. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 4,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $780,326.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of COST. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. purchased a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,791,000. Marshall Wace LLP purchased a new position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,985,000. Palladium Partners LLC raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 55.7% in the fourth quarter. Palladium Partners LLC now owns 8,418 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,360,000 after buying an additional 3,010 shares during the last quarter. Andra AP fonden raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 8.7% in the fourth quarter. Andra AP fonden now owns 64,800 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $10,465,000 after buying an additional 5,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pittenger & Anderson Inc. raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. by 10.2% in the fourth quarter. Pittenger & Anderson Inc. now owns 41,605 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $6,719,000 after buying an additional 3,850 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.