Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Costco continues to be one of the dominant retail wholesalers based on the breadth and quality of merchandise offered. The stock has outpaced the industry in a year. This came on the backdrop of continued sturdy comps performance and upbeat results in third-quarter fiscal 2017, thereby sidelining the woes, which have gripped the brick-and-mortar retailers for some time now. Major chains are grappling with soft store and mall traffic as consumers choose to shop online. But Costco seems somewhat unfazed by tough retail scenario. We believe that the hike in annual membership fees and increased penetration of Citi Visa co-brand card program will also benefit the stock in the near term. We are also encouraged by Costco’s expansion strategy, as it remains committed to opening new clubs and expanding e-Commerce capabilities. However, stiff competition and cautious consumer spending remain causes of concern. Of late, estimates have been stable.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on COST. Cowen and Company reiterated an outperform rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $195.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Guggenheim reiterated a neutral rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a hold rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Thursday, June 1st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) lowered shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from a conviction-buy rating to a neutral rating and lowered their price target for the company from $197.00 to $176.00 in a research note on Friday, June 16th. Eleven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $179.23.

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) opened at 160.91 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $70.57 billion, a PE ratio of 27.94 and a beta of 0.93. The company has a 50-day moving average of $157.83 and a 200-day moving average of $165.14. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a one year low of $142.11 and a one year high of $183.18.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 18th were given a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, August 16th. This is a boost from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.24%. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s payout ratio is presently 34.66%.

In other news, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $157.59, for a total value of $157,590.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,974 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,099,032.66. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Insiders sold a total of 3,000 shares of company stock valued at $477,120 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Westside Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,114 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $168,000 after buying an additional 3 shares in the last quarter. Brightworth raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Brightworth now owns 1,334 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $213,000 after buying an additional 4 shares in the last quarter. Pioneer Trust Bank N A OR raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Pioneer Trust Bank N A OR now owns 1,659 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $266,000 after buying an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. SVA Plumb Wealth Management LLC raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. SVA Plumb Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,527 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $404,000 after buying an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Cetera Investment Advisers raised its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 0.5% in the 2nd quarter. Cetera Investment Advisers now owns 1,390 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $223,000 after buying an additional 7 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.35% 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

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