Dowling & Yahnke LLC raised its holdings in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 15.1% in the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 51,026 shares of the retailer’s stock after acquiring an additional 6,711 shares during the quarter. Costco Wholesale makes up about 1.2% of Dowling & Yahnke LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 15th largest holding. Dowling & Yahnke LLC’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $12,355,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc raised its stake in Costco Wholesale by 0.4% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 35,457,639 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $8,328,292,000 after buying an additional 158,722 shares during the last quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its stake in Costco Wholesale by 20,897.6% in the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 33,652,688 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $165,000 after buying an additional 33,492,419 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Costco Wholesale by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 28,778,155 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $5,862,398,000 after buying an additional 736,711 shares during the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC raised its stake in Costco Wholesale by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Jennison Associates LLC now owns 6,452,240 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,314,386,000 after buying an additional 67,206 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in Costco Wholesale by 3.4% in the fourth quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 6,230,704 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,269,257,000 after buying an additional 202,554 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 71.32% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have commented on COST. Telsey Advisory Group reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $265.00 price target (up from $250.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research note on Tuesday, April 9th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price target on Costco Wholesale from $247.00 to $261.00 and gave the company 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 company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. Oppenheimer increased their price objective on Costco Wholesale from $245.00 to $270.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. Finally, Nomura increased their price objective on Costco Wholesale from $230.00 to $235.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, April 11th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seventeen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $249.90.

In related news, Director John W. Meisenbach bought 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 1st. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $242.65 per share, with a total value of $727,950.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 12,833 shares in the company, valued at $3,113,927.45. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Richard A. Galanti sold 4,188 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $230.47, for a total value of $965,208.36. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 30,082 shares in the company, valued at $6,932,998.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 8,587 shares of company stock worth $2,004,576. 0.21% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Shares of COST stock opened at $248.53 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34. The stock has a market capitalization of $109.94 billion, a PE ratio of 36.39, a PEG ratio of 3.52 and a beta of 0.94. Costco Wholesale Co. has a fifty-two week low of $189.51 and a fifty-two week high of $251.01.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The retailer reported $2.01 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.67 by $0.34. The business had revenue of $35.40 billion for the quarter. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 25.53% and a net margin of 2.34%. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.59 earnings per share. Research analysts anticipate that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 7.93 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, May 24th. Investors of record on Friday, May 10th will be issued a dividend of $0.65 per share. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.05%. This is a positive change from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 9th. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.07%.

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

See Also: Buyback

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

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