SFE Investment Counsel cut its stake in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 7.5% during the 1st quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 20,259 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 1,637 shares during the period. Costco Wholesale comprises 2.2% of SFE Investment Counsel’s portfolio, making the stock its 14th largest position. SFE Investment Counsel’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $4,906,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Vanguard Group Inc increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 0.4% in the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 35,457,639 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $8,328,292,000 after buying an additional 158,722 shares in the last quarter. Ruggie Capital Group purchased a new stake in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter worth $61,000. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 18,075 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,682,000 after buying an additional 705 shares in the last quarter. Sabal Trust CO increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 9.2% in the 4th quarter. Sabal Trust CO now owns 983 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $201,000 after buying an additional 83 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Sigma Investment Counselors Inc. increased its stake in Costco Wholesale by 1.2% in the 4th quarter. Sigma Investment Counselors Inc. now owns 15,634 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,185,000 after buying an additional 181 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.14% of the company’s stock.

A number of brokerages have issued reports on COST. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price target on Costco Wholesale from $247.00 to $261.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, April 11th. Robert W. Baird increased their price target on Costco Wholesale from $250.00 to $270.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 7th. Morgan Stanley increased their price target on Costco Wholesale from $220.00 to $230.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, June 3rd. Finally, Loop Capital increased their price target on Costco Wholesale from $260.00 to $265.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $252.13.

In other news, insider James C. Klauer sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $255.53, for a total transaction of $1,277,650.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 48,310 shares in the company, valued at $12,344,654.30. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John W. Meisenbach acquired 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 1st. The shares were purchased at an average price of $242.65 per share, with a total value of $727,950.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 12,833 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,113,927.45. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 12,140 shares of company stock valued at $3,056,340. Company insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Costco Wholesale stock opened at $260.15 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $114.22 billion, a PE ratio of 38.09, a PEG ratio of 3.64 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a quick ratio of 0.48, a current ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. Costco Wholesale Co. has a twelve month low of $189.51 and a twelve month high of $261.20.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 30th. The retailer reported $1.89 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.83 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $34.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $34.72 billion. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 25.03% and a net margin of 2.41%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.70 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 8.04 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 24th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 10th were given a dividend of $0.65 per share. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 9th. This represents a $2.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.00%. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 38.07%.

Costco Wholesale declared that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Friday, April 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $4.00 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the retailer to buy up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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Costco Wholesale Company Profile

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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Want to see what other hedge funds are holding COST? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

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