Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $159.25, for a total value of $159,250.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 4,974 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $792,109.50. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website.

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ COST) opened at 156.44 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $68.61 billion, a PE ratio of 27.16 and a beta of 0.93. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 12-month low of $142.11 and a 12-month high of $183.18. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $158.29 and its 200-day moving average is $168.02. Costco Wholesale Corporation also was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Stock investors purchased 6,031 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of 231% compared to the average volume of 1,822 put options.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 25th. The retailer reported $1.40 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.31 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $28.86 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $28.57 billion. Costco Wholesale Corporation had a net margin of 2.06% and a return on equity of 20.45%. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $1.24 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale Corporation will post $5.77 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th will be paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 16th. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.28%. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 34.66%.

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Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on the company. UBS AG upgraded Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Vetr upgraded Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $168.75 price objective for the company in a research report on Monday, July 24th. BidaskClub upgraded Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Stifel Nicolaus set a $173.00 price objective on Costco Wholesale Corporation and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday. Finally, Guggenheim reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $167.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Friday, April 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, twenty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $179.11.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in COST. Whalerock Point Partners LLC raised its position in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 22.9% in the fourth quarter. Whalerock Point Partners LLC now owns 6,925 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,109,000 after buying an additional 1,290 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 15.0% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 773,569 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $123,856,000 after buying an additional 100,731 shares in the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new position in Costco Wholesale Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at $5,079,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new position in Costco Wholesale Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at $2,266,000. Finally, Searle & CO. purchased a new position in Costco Wholesale Corporation during the fourth quarter valued at $503,000. Institutional investors own 74.11% of the company’s stock.

About Costco Wholesale Corporation

Costco Wholesale Corporation is engaged in the operation of membership warehouses in the United States and Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Spain, and through its subsidiaries in Taiwan and Korea. As of August 28, 2016, the Company operated 715 warehouses across the world.

Insider Buying and Selling by Quarter for Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

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