It has been a difficult season for Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) stock. Known for delivering savings on bulk purchases, the company hasn’t delivered much in the way of gains for shareholders today. As of this writing, COST stock is down more than 2% for the day.
That said, it’s important to note that Costco is in the green for the past month and past six months, albeit just barely. The stock has been volatile lately, but for all the macroeconomic headwinds facing the market, it also hasn’t given investors any real reason to bet against it.
COST stock is the type of investment that investors can count on, even when economic conditions take a turn for the worse. Some have even argued that it could benefit from rising fears among consumers. InvestorPlace contributor Josh Enomoto :
“For those seeking retail stocks to buy for the long run, COST offers an attractive proposition. First, it features a solid balance sheet, with a cash-to-debt ratio of 1.29. This stat rates higher than 69% of its peers. Operationally, Costco’s three-year revenue growth rate stands at 14%, above 83.21% of its rivals. As well, its book growth rate during the same period is 10.4%.”
As Enomoto notes, recent bank failures have triggered fear among those who remember the Great Recession. Yet, even as shares have fallen recently, institutional investors don’t seem to have doubts that COST stock will eventually rebound.
Let’s take a closer look at the biggest names still behind Costco Wholesale.
Top 5 Investors Betting Big on COST Stock
Data from WhaleWisdom indicates that institutional sentiment toward Costco is primarily positive. The number of funds holding COST stock has increased since the previous quarter, rising almost 3%, from 2735 funds to 2810 funds. The number of 13F shares is up 2% as well while percentage ownership has increased by 1%. Finally new positions have surged from 151 to 267 in Q4 2022, a nearly 77% gain.
That said, the number of increased positions in COST stock has dipped while the number of closed positions has climbed more than 50% quarter to quarter. Costco stock’s put/call ratio has risen from 1.21 to 1.26 as well, indicating that bearish sentiment is rising.
With that in mind, let’s dive deeper into the institutional investors maintaining top positions in Costco.
- Vanguard: 39.56 million shares. Vanguard increased its Costco holdings by 537,088 shares in Q4 2022.
- BlackRock (NYSE:BLK): 29.96 million shares. BlackRock offloaded 91,643 shares in Q4.
- State Street (NYSE:STT): 19.18 million shares. State Street added 380,074 shares in Q4.
- FMR, LLC: 9.70 million shares. FMR sold 644,734 shares in Q4.
- Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS): 8.63 million shares. Morgan Stanley bought 1.31 million shares in Q4.
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.