Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday. They currently have $180.00 target price on the retailer’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Costco continues to be one of the dominant retail wholesalers based on the breadth and quality of merchandise offered. The stock has outpaced the industry in a year. This came on the backdrop of continued sturdy comps performance and upbeat results in third-quarter fiscal 2017, thereby sidelining the woes, which have gripped the brick-and-mortar retailers for some time now. Major chains are grappling with soft store and mall traffic as consumers choose to shop online. But Costco seems somewhat unfazed by tough retail scenario. We believe that the hike in annual membership fees and increased penetration of Citi Visa co-brand card program will also benefit the stock in the near term. We are also encouraged by Costco’s expansion strategy, as it remains committed to opening new clubs and expanding e-Commerce capabilities. However, stiff competition and cautious consumer spending remain causes of concern. Of late, estimates have been stable.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Friday, May 26th. UBS AG raised shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, June 26th. Sanford C. Bernstein reissued a hold rating on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Thursday, July 6th. Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation from $180.00 to $190.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 31st. Finally, Barclays PLC reissued an overweight rating and issued a $190.00 target price (up from $185.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation in a research note on Sunday, May 28th. Ten analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-one have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $179.37.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ COST) opened at 161.56 on Tuesday. Costco Wholesale Corporation has a 12 month low of $142.11 and a 12 month high of $183.18. The company’s 50-day moving average is $157.91 and its 200-day moving average is $165.08. The stock has a market capitalization of $70.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.05 and a beta of 0.93.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 18th were given a $0.50 dividend. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 16th. This is a boost from Costco Wholesale Corporation’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. Costco Wholesale Corporation’s payout ratio is currently 34.66%.

In other news, Director John W. Meisenbach sold 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.28, for a total transaction of $160,280.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 5,974 shares in the company, valued at $957,512.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. In the last quarter, insiders sold 3,000 shares of company stock worth $477,120. Company insiders own 0.74% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 4.1% during the first quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 3,248,905 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $544,809,000 after purchasing an additional 129,106 shares during the last quarter. Mechanics Bank Trust Department grew its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 4.8% during the second quarter. Mechanics Bank Trust Department now owns 33,556 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $5,366,000 after purchasing an additional 1,529 shares during the last quarter. Main Street Research LLC grew its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 4.9% during the first quarter. Main Street Research LLC now owns 64,704 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $10,850,000 after purchasing an additional 3,023 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR grew its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 3.1% during the first quarter. Stephens Inc. AR now owns 44,405 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $7,446,000 after purchasing an additional 1,350 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation by 1.3% during the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 6,254,387 shares of the retailer’s stock worth $1,048,798,000 after purchasing an additional 79,201 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 72.35% of the company’s stock.

About Costco Wholesale Corporation

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

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