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Costco’s Earnings Expectations & An Early Price Target Upgrade On COST Shares

Analyst Team trader
Updated 30 May 2024

As a very busy month of earnings draws close to an end, and the S&P 500 continues to advance, outstripping earnings expectations for the current year, markets are keenly watching corporate earnings for signs of sustained growth or potential warnings. One such report attracting attention comes from Costco (NASDAQ: COST), set to release earnings today after the bell.

Here are the COST expected headline figures:

  • EPS – $3.71
  • Revenue – $57.97bn
  • Net Income – $1.63bn
  • YoY Growth, plus increase in memberships.

With bulls betting on further stock market gains, the importance of robust earnings reports cannot be overstated. Costco, with its wide array of merchandise and reputation for value, serves as a barometer for consumer spending and retail trends. As it reports its earnings, market participants will scour the figures and management commentary for insights into not only the company's performance but also broader economic health.

One notable bull to pull the trigger on a price target upgrade in the lead up to earnings is Argus. The firm upgraded their forecast on COST stock up from $805 to a mark of $900, whilst keeping their ‘Buy' rating in tact. The recent special dividend of $15 per share paid in January this year are a reflection of the strong cash financial position Costco is in according to Argus, who are expecting consistent growth.

The economic landscape in which Costco releases its earnings is quite anomalous. There's an air of cautious optimism as investors navigate through a recovering yet uncertain market. Strategic decisions made by companies during this phase to adapt to the shifting consumer behavior are critical. Factors such as supply chain resilience, cost management, and digital commerce capabilities stand in the limelight as investors evaluate long-term potential.

Over the years, Costco has demonstrated its ability to thrive in a competitive and ever-changing retail environment. Its business model hinges on high-volume sales with low margins, membership loyalty, and an ever-evolving mix of products. As consumer preferences shift towards discount buying and bulk purchases in a strained economic environment, Costco's value proposition becomes increasingly relevant.

The earnings report expected later today will offer insights into several critical areas. Firstly, how effective has Costco been in navigating the current supply chain disruptions, and what is its outlook regarding these challenges? Secondly, investors will be on the lookout for any changes or enhancements in its e-commerce initiatives, especially given the accelerated shift to online shopping in recent years.

With more than 800 warehouses globally, Costco's operational scale and efficiency have been its key strengths. Any indications of new market expansions or warehouse openings will be viewed as signs of confidence in future growth.


Costco's financial health as reflected in its revenue growth, profit margins, and membership renewal rates will be crucial determinants of investor sentiment. A positive report could validate the current market optimism and potentially fuel further gains to a stock price that has already added 23.96% YTD.

Over the last 12 months, holders of Costco shares have seen 58.75% upside, and continued positive sentiment will be desired. Conversely, any signs of weakness may lead to a reassessment of the bullish outlook for the retail sector and the stock as we have seen in recent days, small misses on either key metric being hit hard by markets.

Eyes will be on the retail giant to provide not just numbers, but narratives and forecasts that will inform investment strategies in the coming months.

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The AskTraders Analyst Team features experts in technical and fundamental analysis, as well as traders specializing in stocks, forex, and cryptocurrency.