Investors are cautious about retail stocks during these tough times, but at least Costco (NASDAQ:COST) didn't disappoint with its second-quarter results.

Net income increased 31% to $327.9 million, or $0.74 per share. However, Costco's second-quarter results last year included three one-time charges that added up to $84.4 million pretax, so we have to put the net-income increase in perspective: It would have been only an 8% jump without those one-time effects.

Costco's net sales for the quarter increased 12% to $16.62 billion. Same-store sales increased 7%, but many Costco locations also offer gas pumps, and that figure includes the high price of gas, which has increased 29% year-over-year. Excluding the fuel, Costco's comps would have increased just 3%. Foreign exchange rates juiced international comps a bit as well.

The discount warehouse company's earnings were in line with estimates, although it missed a bit on revenues. In all, this was a solid quarter, despite the tough times out there for consumers.

Despite many investors' cautionary feelings about retail stocks, Costco and its discounter brethren seem to be holding their own. Shares of Costco rival BJ's Wholesale Club (NYSE:BJ), for example, spiked today after its tidings of a good quarter. And I can say it till I'm blue in the face: Discount names like these, as well as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT), seem most likely to continue luring consumers, even in -- or perhaps especially in -- a penny-pinching environment.

Costco's stock has been on a heck of a run lately; it's up 10% in the past 12 months. But then again, it's down 13% in the past three. No, a PEG ratio of 1.54 doesn't make it sound like a screaming rock-bottom bargain, but it doesn't look tremendously overvalued, either. Given the high quality of Costco's business, though, and its competitive advantages even in difficult times, I think this may be a decent time to consider bulking up on shares of this Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick.

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