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After Hours: Costco Hits All-Time High, MoneyGram Meets Cryptocurrency

By Eric Volkman – Updated Jun 17, 2019 at 8:38PM

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Investors are betting that the big, popular store will survive the retail apocalypse. Plus, the market obviously likes MoneyGram's new strategic investor.

For many years, Costco Wholesale (COST 1.51%) has been one of America's most popular retailers. That popularity obviously applies to the stock, too, judging by its notching a new record high at market close today. But can it extend that winning streak in after-hours trading?

Meanwhile, in other post-market headlines, there's an interesting meeting of old and new finance over at MoneyGram International (MGI), which has a brand-new strategic investor on its list of shareholders.

A Costco Wholesale storefront.

Image source: Costco.

Costco is cruising high

One share of Costco will now set you back over $261, the highest level in the stock's nearly 35-year history.

Nothing in particular has happened to the company in recent days to send its stock to such a lofty height. Rather, it's a series of good news items that's boosted investor sentiment on its prospects. In what's becoming a regular occurrence, Costco last month reported a Q3 of fiscal 2019 that blasted past expectations, particularly on the bottom line. 

That followed the company's rather encouraging April sales report, showing that comparable sales rose during the month by 5.2% year over year, a strong figure for a big-box store so big and well-established -- and one also contending with the dreaded retail apocalypse. The May "comps" dropped to 4.2%, but that's still quite good, all factors considered.

In after-hours action, Costco shares are adding slightly to that peak, trading a few cents higher than their closing market price.

MoneyGram meets cryptocurrency

Ripple, one of the better-known cryptocurrencies, is now a strategic shareholder in traditional currency transfer agent MoneyGram.

It was announced after market close that Ripple is investing $30 million into the company. In exchange, it will receive a combination of MoneyGram's common stock and warrants to buy same. It paid $4.10 per share for the stock, which was freshly issued for the deal. Ripple also has the right to buy up to $20 million in stock and/or warrants in the future.

It was not specified how much stock, nor how many warrants, Ripple has purchased.

MoneyGram will use Riple's xRapid solution to effect cross-border transactions, a major part of MoneyGram's business

The deal is a major one, as MoneyGram's market cap at the end of the trading day Monday was just shy of $82 million.

In a press release, MoneyGram said the Ripple arrangement will help it "settle key currencies and match the timing of funding with its settlement requirements, reducing operating costs, working capital needs and improving earnings and free cash flow."

MoneyGram stock is trading like a hot cryptocurrency during a market upswing: Tonight the shares are up nearly 170% from their level at market close.

Eric Volkman has no position in any of the stocks or cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any cryptocurrencies mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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