NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Costco Wholesale Corporation (Nasdaq:COST) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A+ . The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.
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- COST's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 7.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 8.2%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP has improved earnings per share by 20.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP increased its bottom line by earning $3.31 versus $2.92 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.87 versus $3.31).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food & Staples Retailing industry average. The net income increased by 19.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $324.00 million to $386.00 million.
- The stock has not only risen over the past year, it has done so at a faster pace than the S&P 500, reflecting the earnings growth and other positive factors similar to those we have cited here. Looking ahead, the stock's rise over the last year has already helped drive it to a level which is relatively expensive compared to the rest of its industry. We feel, however, that the other strengths this company displays justify these higher price levels.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $1,083.00 million or 33.53% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite an increase in cash flow of 33.53%, COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP is still growing at a significantly lower rate than the industry average of 141.12%.
--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff. TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model.
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