NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- TheStreet's Jim Cramer is watching membership warehouse club Costco  (COST) ahead of third-quarter earnings, expected Wednesday.

Cramer says Costco stock has been down a lot and this may be an opportunity to buy. Take a look at Lowe's (LOW) -- Lowe's missed the quarter and has come all the way back. Home Depot  (HD) did terrific as well.

Cramer says these companies have a lot more in common with Costco than apparel. It's the apparel part of the business that has done poorly for most of retail, he says. That's why he thinks Costco may be an opportunity going into the quarter -- it is a very strong company and it has been down for a very long time.

Wall Street analysts are expecting the company to post an increase in profit with estimates of $1.16 a share, up from $1.07 a year ago. Revenue is expected to come in at $26.67 billion. Investors will be looking in Wednesday's earnings report for what the company plans to do to grow its overall business.

The company reported that same-store sales for April rose 2% in the United States but fell 4% internationally. The stock is off about 8% from all-time highs registered in February. Costco is a membership-only warehouse club that provides a wide selection of merchandise including electronics, furniture, groceries and hardware at low prices and in high volume. It is the largest warehouse retailer in the United States.

There are fewer than 500 stores in the U.S. but some 42 million households carry almost 80 million membership cards. The company makes most of its money on membership fees with customers renewing their memberships at a rate of over 90 %. Costco was the first company to grow from zero to $3 billion in sales in under six years.


TheStreet Ratings team rates COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate COSTCO WHOLESALE CORP (COST) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and solid stock price performance. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

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

At the time of publication, Jim Cramer's charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS held no positions in stocks mentioned.

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