There's been a lot of chatter about retail same-store sales today, and Costco
Costco said that overall sales in March increased 10% to $4.87 billion. The early advent of Easter this year shaved off about 1% to 2% of sales, the company said in its press announcement.
When it comes to discounters, the easiest comparison to make today, of course, is with Wal-Mart
Specifically, discount rival Wal-Mart gave a favorite retail excuse -- inclement weather -- and said it expects earnings for its coming quarter to be at the low end of previous expectations. It also said it expects April sales to be flat to 2% higher.
Despite short-term machinations, eyeing an investment in a company like Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick Costco may very well be one of those cases where the quality of the company overwhelms the temptation to follow. (Not to mention the argument that regardless of economic conditions, consumers really dig the bargains they can get in a warehouse setting.)
It has been brought up in the past that despite Wall Street's concerns about Costco's infamous employee benefits (touched on in this recent interview with Costco CEO Jim Sinegal on Fool Radio on NPR) and margins, Costco is a company that tends to perform well without playing what longtime Fool Bill Mann dubbed "beat-the-numbers analyst games."
A quick check of its price-to-earnings ratio currently shows a trailing P/E of 22. As a quick benchmark, that doesn't make Costco sound like too pricey a bet for what has proved to be a solid company with the capability of weathering various economic conditions -- rain or shine.
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned, although she contributed to Costco's March with a fit of bulk impulse purchases last month.