Costco Wholesale Corporation COST has emerged as an investor favorite courtesy of sound fundamentals and growth efforts that reinforce its position in the ultra-competitive retail landscape. We note that shares of this Issaquah, WA-based company have advanced 27.9% in the past six months compared with the industry’s growth of 20.5%.
This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has also comfortably outperformed the Retail-Wholesale sector and the S&P 500 Index that rallied 12.3% and 13.6%, respectively. Further, the stock hit a 52-week high of $269.69 on Jul 8. In all likelihood, Costco with a long-term earnings growth rate of 8.9% can attain new highs. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
Strategic Endeavors to Drive Momentum
Costco continues to be one of the dominant warehouse retailers based on the breadth and quality of merchandise offered. In fact, its strategy of selling products at heavily discounted prices has helped it to remain on growth track. Additionally, a differentiated product range enables the company to provide an upscale shopping experience for its members.
Definitely, Costco’s stellar comparable sales (comps) run is shaping the stock’s bullish course on the bourses. Notably, comps for the month of May rose 4.2%, following an increase of 5.4% in April, 5.7% in March, 3.5% in February and 5.2% in January. Meanwhile, net sales improved 5.9% in May, following an increase of 7.3%, 7.4%, 5% and 8% in April, March, February and January, respectively.
Costco is focused on ramping up investments in the wake of rising competition from the likes of Dollar Tree DLTR, Dollar General DG and Target TGT. We believe that the company’s business model and commitment toward opening membership warehouses will continue to drive traffic.
Moreover, with the wave of digital transformation hitting the sector, Costco is rapidly adopting the omni-channel mantra to provide a seamless shopping experience, whether online or in-stores. It is steadily expanding e-commerce capabilities in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Korea and Taiwan. E-commerce comparable sales surged 20.2% in the month of May 2019, following an increase of 23.6%, 20.6%, 24.2% and 22.1%, in the months of April, March, February and January, respectively.
In the changing landscape, Costco has been able to create a niche for itself on the back of growth strategies, better price management, strong membership trends and increasing penetration of e-commerce business. Moreover, favorable job scenario, rising wages and improved consumer sentiment are other important factors. In fact, these factors collectively have aided the company in sustaining impressive comps run.
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