Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) has recently received a “Moderate Buy” rating from 28 analysts, as reported by Bloomberg Ratings. Currently, the stock’s average price target among brokers who have issued ratings in the past year is $549.52. Of the 28 analysts covering this popular warehouse retailer, three of them have issued a hold recommendation while another 13 have given Costco a buy recommendation.
This positive outlook on Costco Wholesale is not surprising, given their recent financial performance and dividend distributions. In February of 2017, the company paid out a quarterly dividend of $0.90 per share to shareholders of record as of February 3rd – representing an annualized payout ratio of 26.45% and a yield of 0.74%.
Additionally, many institutional investors have been making moves within their holdings for Costco Wholesale lately – such as raising their positions in COST or purchasing more shares outright. Some notable examples include Oakworth Capital Inc., Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management, CNB Bank, and Essex LLC.
Investors and analysts alike are likely keeping a close eye on how Costco performs over the next few quarters – particularly with regard to changing consumer preferences and habits amidst an uncertain economic climate. Nevertheless, the current “Moderate Buy” rating seems to suggest that there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about COST in the near future.
Crazy for Costco: A Look at the Wholesale Giant’s Consistent Stock Market Success
Costco Wholesale has been in the news lately due to its impressive performance in the stock market. A number of research reports have been released recently, with a common theme emerging – Costco is booming.
Northcoast Research raised shares of Costco Wholesale from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $560.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, March 7th. Evercore ISI decreased their price objective on Costco Wholesale from $545.00 to $535.00 in a research report on Thursday.
TheStreet upgraded Costco Wholesale from a “c” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Thursday, March 23rd. DA Davidson boosted their target price on Costco Wholesale from $470.00 to $478.00 in a research report on Friday, January 6th.
Finally, Cowen lowered their price target on Costco Wholesale from $650.00 to $600.00 and set an “outperform” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, January 23rd.
Despite these conflicting reports, it’s clear that Costco is performing extremely well in the retail space. The company has seen significant growth over the past year as investors flock to purchase shares while demand continues to rise.
In related news, two executives sold large amounts of stock recently – EVP Russell D. Miller sold 1,500 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $488.95, for a total value of $733,425.00.
Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 10,093 shares in the company, valued at $4,934,972.35.
Similarly, EVP James C. Klauer sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in late January at an average price of $503.69, for a total value of $1,259,225.00.
These recent insider sales have caused some concern among investors who are wondering if now is the time to jump ship. However, experts are still bullish on the future prospects of Costco and believe that the company’s strong growth trajectory will continue for the foreseeable future.
Costco Wholesale is currently traded on NASDAQ with a market capitalization of $215.52 billion. Its P/E ratio is 35.71 and it has a beta of 0.79.
The retailer recently reported earnings per share of $3.30 for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $3.20 by $0.10, and had revenue of $55.27 billion during the same period.
Overall, Costco Wholesale is showing no signs of slowing down in one of the most competitive retail spaces in existence today – meaning this is certainly one to watch moving forward.