Costco Wholesale Co. (COST) Shares Sold by Franklin Resources Inc.

Franklin Resources Inc. cut its stake in shares of Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 2.2% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 666,443 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 14,945 shares during the period. Franklin Resources Inc.’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $106,704,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the company. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 97.7% in the second quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 86,400 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $13,569,000 after buying an additional 42,700 shares during the period. Stillwater Investment Management LLC increased its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 0.9% in the third quarter. Stillwater Investment Management LLC now owns 12,387 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,889,000 after buying an additional 112 shares during the period. Peachtree Investment Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 1.4% in the third quarter. Peachtree Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 7,190 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $1,097,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC increased its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 24.2% in the third quarter. Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC now owns 45,522 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $6,943,000 after buying an additional 8,867 shares during the period. Finally, Woodstock Corp increased its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 1.3% in the third quarter. Woodstock Corp now owns 24,327 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $3,710,000 after buying an additional 310 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.12% of the company’s stock.

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

Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) opened at 167.44 on Tuesday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $170.16 and a 200-day moving average of $158.44. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 52-week low of $138.57 and a 52-week high of $178.71. The stock has a market capitalization of $73.50 billion, a PE ratio of 30.89 and a beta of 0.89.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last released its earnings results on Thursday, March 2nd. The retailer reported $1.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.36 by $0.19. Costco Wholesale had a return on equity of 20.06% and a net margin of 2.02%. The company earned $29.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $29.75 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.24 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Costco Wholesale Co. will post $5.62 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 24th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 10th were given a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, February 8th. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.08%. Costco Wholesale’s payout ratio is 32.79%.

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COST has been the subject of several analyst reports. Robert W. Baird set a $175.00 price target on Costco Wholesale and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, November 28th. Guggenheim reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Costco Wholesale in a report on Wednesday, November 30th. Nomura set a $185.00 price target on Costco Wholesale and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, December 1st. Credit Suisse Group AG initiated coverage on Costco Wholesale in a report on Monday, December 5th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $175.00 price target for the company. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG cut their price target on Costco Wholesale from $195.00 to $194.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Monday, December 5th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, twenty-one have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $178.69.

In other Costco Wholesale news, VP Timothy L. Rose sold 4,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $166.95, for a total value of $667,800.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 44,049 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,353,980.55. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director James D. Sinegal sold 17,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $164.52, for a total transaction of $2,796,840.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 792,594 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $130,397,564.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 51,017 shares of company stock valued at $8,350,408. Insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

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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