Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) saw a large growth in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 15,112,603 shares, a growth of 17.4% from the August 15th total of 12,867,950 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 3,657,780 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 4.1 days. Approximately 3.5% of the company’s stock are short sold.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ COST) opened at 162.30 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $157.60 and a 200-day moving average of $165.44. The stock has a market capitalization of $71.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.18 and a beta of 0.93. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 1-year low of $142.11 and a 1-year high of $183.18.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Friday, August 18th were given a dividend of $0.50 per share. This is an increase from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 16th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.23%. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s dividend payout ratio is 34.66%.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Friday, May 26th. UBS AG raised shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Thursday, July 6th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from $180.00 to $190.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 31st. Finally, Barclays PLC reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $190.00 price objective (up previously from $185.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research report on Sunday, May 28th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $179.23.

In other news, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $159.25, for a total transaction of $159,250.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 4,974 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $792,109.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders have sold a total of 3,000 shares of company stock worth $477,120 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of COST. Delta Asset Management LLC TN raised its position in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 11.6% in the second quarter. Delta Asset Management LLC TN now owns 627 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $100,000 after acquiring an additional 65 shares during the period. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. bought a new position in Costco Wholesale Corporation in the second quarter worth approximately $101,000. Northwest Investment Counselors LLC bought a new position in Costco Wholesale Corporation in the second quarter worth approximately $107,000. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. raised its position in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 3.5% in the second quarter. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. now owns 687 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $110,000 after acquiring an additional 23 shares during the period. Finally, Mosaic Family Wealth LLC raised its position in Costco Wholesale Corporation by 16.7% in the first quarter. Mosaic Family Wealth LLC now owns 700 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $117,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 72.50% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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