Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) shares gapped up before the market opened on Monday after BMO Capital Markets upgraded the stock from a market perform rating to an outperform rating. The stock had previously closed at $179.65, but opened at $186.53. BMO Capital Markets now has a $215.00 price target on the stock, up from their previous price target of $192.73. Costco Wholesale shares last traded at $192.73, with a volume of 8451801 shares traded.

Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on COST. UBS upped their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale to $210.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. Telsey Advisory Group upped their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale from $186.00 to $195.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Friday. Oppenheimer reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Friday. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $215.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Friday. Finally, Cowen set a $214.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and eighteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $186.24.

In related news, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, December 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $183.26, for a total value of $549,780.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 8,654 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,585,932.04. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider John D. Mckay sold 8,111 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $172.78, for a total transaction of $1,401,418.58. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 66,751 shares in the company, valued at $11,533,237.78. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 32,842 shares of company stock worth $5,520,848. Corporate insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 33,640,766 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,380,168,000 after purchasing an additional 937,121 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 24,905,256 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,983,097,000 after purchasing an additional 703,825 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 6.0% during the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 17,777,162 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,843,102,000 after purchasing an additional 1,007,720 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 1.5% during the 1st quarter. FMR LLC now owns 12,099,104 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,028,898,000 after purchasing an additional 177,200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Capital Research Global Investors increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Research Global Investors now owns 9,281,245 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,484,350,000 after purchasing an additional 207,675 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.49% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.99 and a quick ratio of 0.43. The company has a market capitalization of $84,720.00, a P/E ratio of 32.07, a PEG ratio of 3.12 and a beta of 0.98.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, December 14th. The retailer reported $1.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.35 by $0.01. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 23.41% and a net margin of 2.09%. The business had revenue of $31.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $31.01 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.24 EPS. Costco Wholesale’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 6.5 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Investors of record on Friday, November 17th were paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 16th. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.04%. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is 32.95%.

ILLEGAL ACTIVITY NOTICE: This piece of content was first reported by Daily Political and is owned by of Daily Political. If you are reading this piece of content on another publication, it was copied illegally and reposted in violation of U.S. and international trademark & copyright laws. The correct version of this piece of content can be accessed at https://www.dailypolitical.com/2017/12/18/costco-wholesale-cost-shares-gap-up-on-analyst-upgrade.html.

About Costco Wholesale

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.

Receive News & Ratings for Costco Wholesale Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Costco Wholesale and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.