Heron Financial Group LLC grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 79.0% during the third quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 1,985 shares of the retailer’s stock after buying an additional 876 shares during the period. Heron Financial Group LLC’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $712,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the company. O Shares Investment Advisers LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale during the second quarter valued at approximately $4,418,000. Burns J W & Co. Inc. NY grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 4.8% during the second quarter. Burns J W & Co. Inc. NY now owns 11,274 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $3,418,000 after buying an additional 513 shares in the last quarter. Colony Group LLC grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 14.3% during the first quarter. Colony Group LLC now owns 17,271 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $4,925,000 after buying an additional 2,158 shares in the last quarter. Oak Grove Capital LLC grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 155.9% during the second quarter. Oak Grove Capital LLC now owns 36,045 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $10,929,000 after buying an additional 21,958 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Clarius Group LLC grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 5.0% during the second quarter. Clarius Group LLC now owns 8,477 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $2,570,000 after buying an additional 406 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 68.20% of the company’s stock.

Shares of COST traded up $4.96 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $381.54. 2,460,490 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,887,887. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 1-year low of $271.28 and a 1-year high of $384.87. The firm has a market capitalization of $168.35 billion, a PE ratio of 42.30, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.70 and a beta of 0.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.40, a quick ratio of 0.64 and a current ratio of 1.13. The business’s 50 day moving average price is $351.05 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $322.70.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 24th. The retailer reported $3.13 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.85 by $0.28. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.40% and a return on equity of 22.71%. The business had revenue of $52.28 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $52.03 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $2.69 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 10.1% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 9.56 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, November 13th. Investors of record on Friday, October 30th will be paid a dividend of $0.70 per share. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.73%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 29th. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio is currently 31.64%.

In related news, VP Joseph P. Portera sold 6,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $348.00, for a total transaction of $2,088,000.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 6,211 shares in the company, valued at $2,161,428. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Kenneth D. Denman sold 300 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $355.69, for a total transaction of $106,707.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 4,433 shares in the company, valued at $1,576,773.77. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 15,804 shares of company stock worth $5,460,267. Company insiders own 0.22% of the company’s stock.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on COST. Cowen raised their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale from $370.00 to $410.00 in a research report on Wednesday, September 2nd. Oppenheimer raised their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale from $380.00 to $400.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, September 3rd. Barclays raised shares of Costco Wholesale from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $400.00 price target for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 6th. Guggenheim reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Monday, June 29th. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group lifted their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $385.00 to $390.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, September 25th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and nineteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Costco Wholesale presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $368.54.

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

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