NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Costco Wholesale (COST) - Get Costco Wholesale Corporation Report are advancing 0.85% to $165.09 late Friday morning as Oppenheimer said the company is "one of the world's best positioned and most powerful retail chains."

The firm also maintained its "outperform" rating and $175 price target on the stock.

Data suggests that Costco recently raised membership fees in certain Asian markets, the firm said, adding that management considers many factors in determining the fees.

Oppenheimer looks at recent hikes outside of the U.S. as a possible leading indicator of higher fees in the U.S.

"Annual membership fees at COST's 49 warehouses throughout Japan, Taiwan, and Korea are set to increase about 10%, effective Sept. 1st. Asian warehouses usually enjoy greater membership per warehouse due to fewer overall locations and stores in more densely populated areas," the firm noted.

The Issaquah, WA-based company's membership demand has proven relatively "inelastic" during previous domestic increases and the firm expects similar results abroad.

"Per our calculations, an approx. 10% international fee increase in Japan, Taiwan, and Korea could add about $0.04 to EPS in the next two years, but more importantly may prove a harbinger for a US rate increase," Oppenheimer added.

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Yesterday, Costco stock rose after the company reported better-than-expected same-store sales for June.

(Costco is held in Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS. See all of his holding with a free trial here.)

Separately, TheStreet Ratings Team has a "Buy" rating with a score of A- on the stock.

The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, increase in net income, good cash flow from operations, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and solid stock price performance.

The team believes its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Recently, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.

You can view the full analysis from the report here: COST

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