What's Going On With Costco Stock Thursday?

Zinger Key Points
  • Costco reports net sales of $23.48 billion for the retail month of March, up 9.4% on a year-over-year basis.
  • Costco's board approves a quarterly cash dividend increase from $1.02 per share to $1.16 per share, or $4.64 per share annually.

Costco Wholesale Corp COST shares are moving higher Thursday after the company reported sales data for March and increased its quarterly dividend.

What To Know: Costco reported net sales of $23.48 billion for the retail month of March, up 9.4% on a year-over-year basis.

Costco’s "retail month of March" spans the five-week period ended April 7. The company noted that its numbers were impacted by the shift in the timing of Easter, which positively impacted total and comparable sales by approximately 0.5%.

Total comparable sales were up 7.7% in March, while e-commerce sales jumped 28.3%. Costco's U.S. comparable sales were up 7.3% last month, Canada comparable sales were up 8.9% and Other International sales were up 8.6%.

Costco said net sales through the first 31 weeks of the year totaled $146.64 billion, up 6.4% year-over-year. 

Costco also announced its board approved a quarterly cash dividend increase from $1.02 per share to $1.16 per share, or $4.64 per share on an annualized basis. The dividend will be payable on May 10 to shareholders of record as of April 26.

Following the announcements, Telsey Advisory Group analyst Joseph Feldman maintained Costco with an Outperform rating and price target of $800.

Don’t Miss This: US Inflation Data Plays On Asia and Europe Markets, Gold Trades Above $2,350 – Global Markets Today While US Slept

How To Buy COST Stock

By now you're likely curious about how to participate in the market for Costco – be it to purchase shares, or even attempt to bet against the company.

Buying shares is typically done through a brokerage account. You can find a list of possible trading platforms here. Many will allow you to buy ‘fractional shares,' which allows you to own portions of stock without buying an entire share. In the case of Costco, which is trading at $728 as of publishing time, $100 would buy you 0.14 shares of stock.

If you're looking to bet against a company, the process is more complex. You'll need access to an options trading platform, or a broker who will allow you to ‘go short' a share of stock by lending you the shares to sell. The process of shorting a stock can be found at this resource. Otherwise, if your broker allows you to trade options, you can either buy a put option, or sell a call option at a strike price above where shares are currently trading – either way it allows you to profit off of the share price decline.

COST Price Action: Costco shares were up 1.16% at $730.98 at the time of writing Thursday morning, according to Benzinga Pro.

Photo: Mike Mozart from Flickr.

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: NewsPrice TargetReiterationMoverswhy it's moving
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!