Net income increased 16.4% to $348 million, or $0.79 per share. Revenue jumped 11% to $20.5 billion. Same-store sales increased 7% (or 4% without gasoline sales). International sales were a highlight; foreign comps increased 12% (or 8% without the gasoline impact). Apparently, Costco's not only luring U.S. customer traffic, but tapping into growth abroad as well.
Costco's making a better show of things than discounter Wal-Mart
In comparison, warehouse discount rival BJ's Wholesale
In a demonstration of Mr. Market's fickle ways, Costco's shares dropped in yesterday's trading. That's probably not too surprising, since its shares have been rising consistently lately, sporting a potentially premium price tag. Costco trades at about 24 times earnings, compared to Wal-Mart's price-to-earnings ratio of 12 or Target's P/E of 13.
I bought Costco for my Rising Stars portfolio in December on the strength of its excellent management, which takes employees, customers, and many other stakeholders into account. I consider it a "gold-standard stock," and in my opinion, it deserves a premium price. A company like Costco is so well-run -- and so well-loved by its customers -- that it's simply less risky than its rivals.
The market's temporary bearishness simply gives Fools an opportunity to snag Costco shares at a discount. Investors shopping for a high-quality stock for the long term shouldn't underestimate this great choice.
Costco and Wal-Mart are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Costco is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a diagonal call position on Wal-Mart. The Fool owns shares of Costco, and Wal-Mart. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.