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What Everyone Needs To Remember About Costco

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What Everyone Needs To Remember About Costco
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Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST) were trading lower by over 4 percent early Friday morning after the company's earnings report came in better than expected. Despite the positive print, many investors felt it still fell short.

Following the earnings report, UBS's Michael Lasser maintains a Buy rating on Costco's stock with an unchanged $190 price target, saying the company's earnings report should "fatigue" the bears.

Not only where Costco's results "solid," but membership trends — which are core to the bull versus bear debate — remain solid, Lasser noted. Specifically, members per club rose 0.2 percent while total membership rose 4 percent to 49.4 million. More importantly, Costco's Groupon and LivingSocial offer attracted the important younger demographic group that should remain members for years.

However, Costco's renewal rate did fall in the quarter from 87.5 percent in the prior quarter to 87.2 percent but this could be attributed to the 2016 credit card switch, as many users had their memberships set to auto-renew on their old American Express card.

Finally, it is important to note that Costco's gross margin decline of 9 basis points in total is adjusted for fuel inflation/deflation, the analyst added (see Lasser's track record here). In fact, gross margins for non-fuel sales was flat year-over-year which may be even more impressive considering Costco continued to aggressively invest in price during the quarter.

Bottom line, Costco's "skeptics" should now figure out that the company is a textbook example of a company that isn't being impacted by the quickly shifting trends in the retail sector.

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Image Credit: By Namiwoo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Latest Ratings for COST

DateFirmActionFromTo
Oct 2017CitigroupMaintainsBuy
Oct 2017Morgan StanleyDowngradesOverweightEqual-Weight
Jul 2017BMO CapitalDowngradesOutperformMarket Perform

View More Analyst Ratings for COST
View the Latest Analyst Ratings

Posted-In: Analyst Color Earnings Long Ideas News Guidance Reiteration Analyst Ratings Movers Best of Benzinga

 

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