Traders sold shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) on strength during trading hours on Thursday. $196.01 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $213.63 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $17.62 million out of the stock. Of all companies tracked, Costco Wholesale had the 0th highest net out-flow for the day. Costco Wholesale traded up $0.77 for the day and closed at $221.82

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Northcoast Research raised shares of Costco Wholesale from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday. Argus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $255.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Thursday. Loop Capital set a $265.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Royal Bank of Canada reduced their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale from $255.00 to $253.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, October 5th. Finally, Bank of America set a $255.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, October 4th. Nine analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $237.94.

The company has a market cap of $103.00 billion, a PE ratio of 38.99, a P/E/G ratio of 2.78 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a quick ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 4th. The retailer reported $2.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.34 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $44.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $44.17 billion. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 24.67% and a net margin of 2.16%. The firm’s revenue was up 5.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $2.08 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 6.8 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 31st were paid a $0.57 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 30th. This represents a $2.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.00%. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is 39.18%.

In other Costco Wholesale news, VP James P. Murphy sold 15,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $219.22, for a total value of $3,288,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 33,834 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,417,089.48. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $235.81, for a total value of $707,430.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 8,654 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,040,699.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 24,000 shares of company stock valued at $5,351,100 over the last 90 days. 0.58% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Cypress Capital Management LLC WY boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 8.0% in the 2nd quarter. Cypress Capital Management LLC WY now owns 3,055 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $638,000 after purchasing an additional 225 shares during the period. McIlrath & Eck LLC boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 16.8% in the 2nd quarter. McIlrath & Eck LLC now owns 1,585 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $331,000 after purchasing an additional 228 shares during the period. Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Costco Wholesale by 11.5% in the 2nd quarter. Moloney Securities Asset Management LLC now owns 2,327 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $486,000 after purchasing an additional 240 shares during the period. Rational Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 6.7% during the 2nd quarter. Rational Advisors LLC now owns 3,862 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $807,000 after acquiring an additional 242 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BKD Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 20.8% during the 2nd quarter. BKD Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,435 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $300,000 after acquiring an additional 247 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 71.49% of the company’s stock.

About Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

Costco Wholesale Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, operates membership warehouses. It offers branded and private-label products in a range of merchandise categories. The company provides dry and packaged foods, and groceries; snack foods, candies, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, and cleaning supplies; appliances, electronics, health and beauty aids, hardware, and garden and patio products; meat, bakery, deli, and produces; and apparel and small appliances.

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