Montag & Caldwell LLC decreased its stake in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 27.4% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 3,334 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 1,256 shares during the period. Montag & Caldwell LLC’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $548,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of COST. Motley Fool Wealth Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 15.1% in the first quarter. Motley Fool Wealth Management LLC now owns 30,080 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,044,000 after buying an additional 3,938 shares during the period. BB&T Securities LLC boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 3.2% in the first quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 20,109 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $3,372,000 after purchasing an additional 624 shares during the last quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 55.1% in the first quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. now owns 10,645 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,785,000 after purchasing an additional 3,781 shares during the last quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 91.5% in the first quarter. Rafferty Asset Management LLC now owns 12,021 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $2,016,000 after purchasing an additional 5,744 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jones Financial Companies Lllp boosted its holdings in Costco Wholesale by 557.2% in the first quarter. Jones Financial Companies Lllp now owns 10,292 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,726,000 after purchasing an additional 8,726 shares during the last quarter. 71.22% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Costco Wholesale Co. (COST) opened at $186.63 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 0.98, a quick ratio of 0.43 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.57. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 1-year low of $150.00 and a 1-year high of $195.35. The company has a market capitalization of $81,970.00, a P/E ratio of 29.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.14 and a beta of 0.98.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last released its earnings results on Thursday, December 14th. The retailer reported $1.36 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.35 by $0.01. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 25.45% and a net margin of 2.05%. The company had revenue of $31.81 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $31.01 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $1.24 EPS. Costco Wholesale’s quarterly revenue was up 13.2% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 6.52 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 17th were given a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.07%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, November 16th. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is 31.80%.

A number of research analysts recently commented on COST shares. Moffett Nathanson started coverage on Costco Wholesale in a report on Monday, December 4th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. < Robert W. Baird reissued a "buy" rating and issued a $215.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Friday, December 15th. Susquehanna Bancshares increased their price target on Costco Wholesale from $205.00 to $215.00 and gave the company a "positive" rating in a report on Friday, December 15th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a "buy" rating and issued a $200.00 price target (up previously from $185.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Friday, December 15th. Finally, Vetr downgraded Costco Wholesale from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $175.44 price target for the company. in a report on Friday, December 1st. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $187.32.

In other news, Director Richard M. Libenson sold 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $193.03, for a total transaction of $3,860,600.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 3,919 shares in the company, valued at approximately $756,484.57. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Dennis R. Zook sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $161.92, for a total value of $809,600.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 626 shares in the company, valued at $101,361.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 57,842 shares of company stock worth $10,347,448 over the last quarter. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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

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