Costco Continues to Beat S&P 500

(C) Reuters. Costco Continues to Beat S&P 500

JP Morgan has upped its Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) price target to $502 from $475, while keeping its overweight rating.

JP Morgan is one of several investment firms that raised its price target for Costco following its fourth-quarter earnings report, which beat expectations. Net sales for the quarter rose 17.5 percent, to $61.44 billion from $52.28 billion last year. In addition, net sales rose 17.7 percent for the fiscal year to $192.05 billion from $163.22 billion the previous year.

Comparable sales were strong across all regions, especially in Canada, where they rose close to 20 percent.

Still, the average analyst isn’t as bullish on Costco shares as JP Morgan is, over the next twelve months. The average price target of the 17 Wall Street analysts following the stock in the last three months is $479.47, with a high forecast of $525.00 and a low forecast of $385.00. The average Costco price target represents a 2.51% change from the last price of $467.75.

One problem with Costco stock is its valuation. The stock is trading at 40 times the next six-month earnings, almost twice P/E of the S&P 500.

Then there are supply chain issues that may limit sales growth in the short run. Already, the company has announced purchase limits to certain items that are in short supply.

I am bullish on this stock. (See Costco stock charts on TipRanks)

Costco: Good Company and Good Investment

Costco is a good company and a good investment. It’s a good company because it’s popular among consumers paying membership fees for the privilege to shop at its stores. The company is ranked highly in several high-profile company lists, including the American Customer Satisfaction list, where it beat Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) back in 2018.

Costco is a good investment because it has delivered superior returns to its shareholders. Over the last ten years, Costco has delivered an average annual total return of 21.54 percent, compared to the 16.57 percent for the S&P 500.

Plenty of Room for Long-term Growth

Costco is the 3rd largest global retailer and the 12th largest Fortune 500 company, with a market capitalization of $206.78 billion. It currently operates 817 warehouses, including 565 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 105 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, 30 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 16 in Korea, 14 in Taiwan, 13 in Australia, three in Spain, and one each in Iceland, France, and China. The company also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.

This number of stores is a fraction of the amount that the world’s largest retailer, Walmart (NYSE:WMT), has, meaning that Costco has plenty of room to grow. That’s especially true in China, where the company has only one store. Seeking bargains, customers have been storming the store.

While it’s unclear whether Costco will achieve JP Morgan’s bullish target in the short term, one thing is clear: Costco has plenty of room to grow and deliver superior returns to long-term investors.

Disclosure: At the time of publication, Panos Mourdoukoutas had a position in Costco.

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Costco Continues to Beat S&P 500

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