Costco Wholesale (COST) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Monday. They currently have $243.00 price target 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, which has outpaced the industry in a year, has been gaining from sturdy comps performance and decent results. The company posted positive earnings surprise in the second quarter of fiscal 2019 but revenues fell short of the Zacks Consensus Estimate. Notably, the top and the bottom line continued to register year-over-year improvement. Certainly, Costco seems somewhat unfazed by tough retail scenario. We believe growth strategies, increase in membership fees and sturdy e-commerce sales bode well. E-commerce sales surged 32.3% during the quarter. The company’s growth efforts have been fueling traffic across both online and brick-and-mortar platforms. However, any incremental investments or aggressive pricing strategy may hurt margins. Moreover, rising SG&A expenses and stiff competition also pose concerns.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Oppenheimer decreased their price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale from $262.00 to $240.00 in a report on Friday, December 14th. BMO Capital Markets set a $258.00 price objective on shares of Costco Wholesale and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Friday, December 14th. Bank of America reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $255.00 target price on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Friday, December 14th. Loop Capital cut their target price on shares of Costco Wholesale to $260.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Friday, December 14th. Finally, Argus reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $245.00 target price (down previously from $255.00) on shares of Costco Wholesale in a research report on Monday, December 24th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Costco Wholesale has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $242.56.

Shares of NASDAQ COST opened at $233.84 on Monday. Costco Wholesale has a twelve month low of $180.83 and a twelve month high of $245.16. The company has a market capitalization of $102.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.24, a PEG ratio of 3.12 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a quick ratio of 0.46, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34.

Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 7th. The retailer reported $2.01 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.67 by $0.34. Costco Wholesale had a net margin of 2.34% and a return on equity of 25.53%. The company had revenue of $35.40 billion during the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.59 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts expect that Costco Wholesale will post 7.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, February 22nd. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 8th were given a $0.57 dividend. This represents a $2.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.98%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 7th. Costco Wholesale’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 33.38%.

In other news, VP Richard A. Galanti sold 4,188 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $230.47, for a total transaction of $965,208.36. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 30,082 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,932,998.54. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Susan L. Decker sold 2,049 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, March 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $232.00, for a total transaction of $475,368.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 48,589 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,272,648. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 8,587 shares of company stock valued at $1,924,179. 0.21% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of COST. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Costco Wholesale by 125.9% during the 4th quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 122 shares of the retailer’s stock valued at $25,000 after acquiring an additional 68 shares during the period. Csenge Advisory Group bought a new position in Costco Wholesale in the 3rd quarter worth $29,000. ERTS Wealth Advisors LLC bought a new position in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter worth $30,000. Arbor Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter worth $33,000. Finally, PRW Wealth Management LLC bought a new position in Costco Wholesale in the 4th quarter worth $36,000. 71.20% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Recommended Story: Why is cost of goods sold important?

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on Costco Wholesale (COST)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)

Receive News & Ratings for Costco Wholesale Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Costco Wholesale and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.