Sawgrass Asset Management LLC Trims Stake in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST)

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Sawgrass Asset Management LLC trimmed its position in Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) by 1.6% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 137,770 shares of the retailer’s stock after selling 2,211 shares during the quarter. Costco Wholesale makes up approximately 1.5% of Sawgrass Asset Management LLC’s portfolio, making the stock its 28th largest position. Sawgrass Asset Management LLC’s holdings in Costco Wholesale were worth $33,360,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Horan Capital Advisors LLC. purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale in the first quarter worth approximately $26,000. ERTS Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale in the fourth quarter worth approximately $30,000. Arbor Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale in the fourth quarter worth approximately $33,000. PRW Wealth Management LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale in the fourth quarter worth approximately $36,000. Finally, C J Advisory Inc purchased a new stake in shares of Costco Wholesale in the first quarter worth approximately $36,000. Institutional investors own 71.14% of the company’s stock.

In related news, Director John W. Meisenbach purchased 3,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, April 1st. The shares were bought at an average price of $242.65 per share, for a total transaction of $727,950.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now directly owns 12,833 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,113,927.45. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,350 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, March 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $240.00, for a total value of $564,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 46,239 shares in the company, valued at approximately $11,097,360. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 12,140 shares of company stock worth $3,056,340. Corporate insiders own 0.21% of the company’s stock.

Shares of COST opened at $259.71 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $113.13 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.02, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.61 and a beta of 0.91. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a current ratio of 0.98. Costco Wholesale Co. has a twelve month low of $189.51 and a twelve month high of $259.87.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 30th. The retailer reported $1.89 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.83 by $0.06. The firm had revenue of $34.74 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $34.72 billion. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.41% and a return on equity of 25.03%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.70 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Costco Wholesale Co. will post 8.04 earnings per share for the current year.

Costco Wholesale declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Friday, April 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $4.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the retailer to reacquire up to 3.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, May 24th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 10th were issued a dividend of $0.65 per share. This represents a $2.60 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.00%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 9th. This is an increase from Costco Wholesale’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.57. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 38.07%.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on COST. Nomura began coverage on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $230.00 price target for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale to $248.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Deutsche Bank set a $225.00 price target on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 8th. Citigroup reduced their price target on shares of Costco Wholesale from $243.00 to $241.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, May 31st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Costco Wholesale from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 7th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eighteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $252.13.

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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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