A Look at Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) Shares in the Recent Past Indicates Growth

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) stock fell -1.20% on Friday to $487.17 against a previous-day closing price of $493.07. With 3.01 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 2.08 million shares. During the session, the Discount Stores company that operates in wider Consumer Defensive sector, reached to the highest price of $493.34 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $484.42. The 52-week range on COST shows that it touched its highest point at $612.27 and its lowest point at $406.51 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $576.21. With its current market cap of 215.52 billion, COST has annualized dividend of $3.60 while the current yield stands at 0.74%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 0.70.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of COST was down-trending over the past week, with a drop of -3.24%, but this was down by -10.13% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 2.56% while six-month performance fell -12.07%. The stock gained 7.70% in the past year, while it has lost -14.19% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for COST yields 12.70 with Next year EPS estimates of 14.51. For the next quarter, that number is 4.16. This implies an EPS growth rate of 25.00% for this year and 10.50% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 13.74% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 16.20%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 443.70 million COST shares are outstanding with a float of 442.01 million shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 3.67 million, which was 0.83% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. W. Craig Jelinek as the firm’s CEO & Director, Mr. Ron M. Vachris serves as its Pres, COO & Director.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 69.23% of COST’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 36.93% of COST, in contrast to 32.87% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 0.81%. As the largest shareholder in COST with 8.29% of the stake, The Vanguard Group, Inc. holds 36,715,489 shares worth 36,715,489. A second-largest stockholder of COST, BlackRock Fund Advisors, holds 20,440,888 shares, controlling over 4.62% of the firm’s shares. SSgA Funds Management, Inc. is the third largest shareholder in COST, holding 18,801,864 shares or 4.25% stake. With a 2.96% stake in COST, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 13,120,810 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard 500 Index Fund, which owns about 2.23% of COST stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 9,891,522 shares valued at 5.16 billion. Invesco QQQ Trust holds 1.44% of the stake in COST, owning 6,382,797 shares worth 3.33 billion.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for COST since 32 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 17 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 12 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 3 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With COST analysts setting a high price target of $650.00 and a low target of $440.00, the average target price over the next 12 months is $572.65. Based on these targets, COST could surge 33.42% to reach the target high and fall by -9.68% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 17.55% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. COST will report FY 2022 earnings on 10/05/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $13.46 being high and $12.43 being low. For COST, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $13.14. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Costco Wholesale Corporation surprised analysts by -$0.00 when it reported $3.04 EPS against a consensus estimate of $3.04. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.16. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $4.50 and the low estimate is $3.69. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $4.17.

Dividends & Yield:

In terms of dividends, COST has a current ratio of $3.6, which is $3.6 over the trailing 12-months, while a dividend of $2.56 is likely to be paid on average over the next five years. Dividend yield is another indicator that appeals to many investors, and COST currently yields $0.69. In the past year, COST’s dividend yield has been $0.69, but when looking at the stock over the past five years, its yield has been $0.85. Accordingly, COST has a current buyback yield of $0.18. This was $0.18 for the TTM, and it was $0.28 for the past five years.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded COST stock several times over the past three months with 0 Buys and 3 Sells. In these transactions, 0 shares were bought while 2,800 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 14 while that of sell transactions has risen to 47 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 37,289 while 71,681 shares were sold.

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