On Thursday morning, we'll get the first-quarter 2008 results from warehouse retailer Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST). Go back and check out last quarter's joyful report, then come back to see whether you'd buy this one for a dollar.

What Fools say:

Here's how Costco's CAPS scoring rates against some of its peers and competitors:

Market Cap (millions)

Trailing P/E Ratio

CAPS Rating

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

$199,520

16.3

**

Target (NYSE:TGT)

$46,195

16.3

****

Costco

$30,928

30.2

****

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY)

$22,290

18.9

***

BJ's Wholesale Club (NYSE:BJ)

$2,378

28.3

**

Data taken from Yahoo! Finance and Motley Fool CAPS on 12/11/2007.

Costco's stock looks rather pricey next to its rivals, but our CAPS players still like the stock, thanks to a unique high-end store concept and great management. On the downside, our bears see a recession coming, and they think that Costco is in for more hurtin' than most retailers.

What management says:
In the last earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Rick Galanti noted that continued comparable-stores growth around 4%-5% would place bottom-line results close to the top of the guidance range. Since Galanti also called the Thomson First Call earnings estimate of $0.59 per share "a shade high," it sounds like we should expect a result somewhere in the neighborhood of $0.55.

What management does:
These margins are slim, even for a bulk-oriented retailer. That's OK, as long as the net margin remains positive and revenue growth outruns inflation. Still, it's a bit disappointing to see earnings growth backing up into shrinkage territory.

Margins

5/06

9/06

11/06

2/07

5/07

9/07

Gross

12.4%

12.3%

12.3%

12.3%

12.2%

12.3%

Operating

2.8%

2.7%

2.7%

2.6%

2.5%

2.5%

Net

1.9%

1.8%

1.8%

1.7%

1.7%

1.7%

FCF/Revenue

1.1%

1%

1.2%

0.4%

1.3%

1.1%

Y-O-Y Growth

5/06

9/06

11/06

2/07

5/07

9/07

Revenue

10.9%

13.6%

13%

12.1%

11.9%

7.1%

Earnings

9.7%

3.8%

3.5%

0.1%

-3.3%

-1.9%

All data courtesy of Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Data reflects trailing-12-month performance for the quarters ended in the named months.

One Fool says:
The share price is up some 22% since the last earnings report, and it keeps pushing the all-time high limits higher. The reasons for this optimism aren't entirely clear -- after all, aren't we supposed to be headed for a severe consumer crash?

Perhaps high-end consumers are coming to the rescue here. If Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) are doing all right, then Costco should remain the warehouse chain to beat. Then again, even the mighty N has taken its lumps lately. Costco needs to impress on Thursday in order to support its lofty valuation -- and I'm not sure that will happen.

Related Foolishness:

Costco and Best Buy are official Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Best Buy and Wal-Mart camp out near Mount Inside Value. Check out a couple of our newsletter services to prepare your portfolio for any market crashes that might be coming our way -- it's free for 30 days. Or just sign up for a free CAPS account.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is the Punxsutawney Phil of financial forecasting.