Costco Wholesale Corporation Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (COST)

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.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • COST's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 8.0%. 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.
  • Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 26.20% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the 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 139.39%.

Costco Wholesale Corporation operates membership warehouses that offer a selection of branded and private label products in a range of merchandise categories in no-frills, self-service warehouse facilities. The company has a P/E ratio of 26.7, above the average retail industry P/E ratio of 26.6and above the S&P 500 P/E ratio of 17.7. Costco Wholesale has a market cap of $41.35 billion and is part of the services sector and retail industry. Shares are up 14.8% year to date as of the close of trading on Thursday.

You can view the full Costco Wholesale Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--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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