Costco Wholesale Co. Same-Store Sales Grow 4.2% in May, Shares Climb by 0% (NASDAQ:COST)

Costco Wholesale’s (NASDAQ:COST) same-store sales rose 4.2% in the month of May. Costco Wholesale’s shares climbed by 0% in the first full-day of trading following the report.

A number of research firms have weighed in on COST. BidaskClub lowered shares of Costco Wholesale from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Costco Wholesale from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $272.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley boosted their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $220.00 to $230.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Monday, June 3rd. BMO Capital Markets set a $275.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, May 31st. Finally, Citigroup reduced their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale from $243.00 to $241.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, May 31st. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. Costco Wholesale has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $252.13.

In other news, insider James C. Klauer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $255.53, for a total value of $1,277,650.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 48,310 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,344,654.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Patrick J. Callans sold 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $252.15, for a total transaction of $504,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 66,479 shares in the company, valued at $16,762,679.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 12,140 shares of company stock worth $3,056,340. Insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Costco Wholesale stock opened at $259.71 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a current ratio of 0.98. Costco Wholesale has a 12-month low of $189.51 and a 12-month high of $261.20. The firm has a market cap of $113.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.02, a P/E/G ratio of 3.61 and a beta of 0.91.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 30th. The retailer reported $1.89 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.83 by $0.06. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.41% and a return on equity of 25.03%. The company had revenue of $34.74 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $34.72 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.70 EPS. Costco Wholesale’s quarterly revenue was up 7.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Costco Wholesale will post 8.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Costco Wholesale declared that its board has initiated a share buyback plan on Friday, April 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to buy up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Country Club Trust Company n.a. raised its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 8.0% during the 4th quarter. Country Club Trust Company n.a. now owns 6,556 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,336,000 after buying an additional 484 shares during the period. Regent Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 43.5% in the 1st quarter. Regent Investment Management LLC now owns 1,485 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $360,000 after buying an additional 450 shares during the period. Raymond James & Associates raised its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 8.5% in the 1st quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 467,707 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $113,252,000 after buying an additional 36,675 shares during the period. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 17.4% in the 1st quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 182,589 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $44,218,000 after buying an additional 27,026 shares during the period. Finally, Bernicke Wealth Management Ltd. raised its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale by 3.3% in the 4th quarter. Bernicke Wealth Management Ltd. now owns 4,017 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $818,000 after buying an additional 127 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 71.14% of the company’s stock.

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About Costco Wholesale

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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