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If EPS Growth Is Important To You, Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) Presents An Opportunity

Investors are often guided by the idea of discovering 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without any revenue, let alone profit. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.' While a well funded company may sustain losses for years, it will need to generate a profit eventually, or else investors will move on and the company will wither away.

Despite being in the age of tech-stock blue-sky investing, many investors still adopt a more traditional strategy; buying shares in profitable companies like Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST). Even if this company is fairly valued by the market, investors would agree that generating consistent profits will continue to provide Costco Wholesale with the means to add long-term value to shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Costco Wholesale

Costco Wholesale's Earnings Per Share Are Growing

The market is a voting machine in the short term, but a weighing machine in the long term, so you'd expect share price to follow earnings per share (EPS) outcomes eventually. That makes EPS growth an attractive quality for any company. We can see that in the last three years Costco Wholesale grew its EPS by 17% per year. That growth rate is fairly good, assuming the company can keep it up.

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It's often helpful to take a look at earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins, as well as revenue growth, to get another take on the quality of the company's growth. Costco Wholesale maintained stable EBIT margins over the last year, all while growing revenue 12% to US$234b. That's encouraging news for the company!

The chart below shows how the company's bottom and top lines have progressed over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

earnings-and-revenue-history
earnings-and-revenue-history

In investing, as in life, the future matters more than the past. So why not check out this free interactive visualization of Costco Wholesale's forecast profits?

Are Costco Wholesale Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a US$220b company like Costco Wholesale. But we are reassured by the fact they have invested in the company. Notably, they have an enviable stake in the company, worth US$530m. While that is a lot of skin in the game, we note this holding only totals to 0.2% of the business, which is a result of the company being so large. This still shows shareholders there is a degree of alignment between management and themselves.

It's good to see that insiders are invested in the company, but are remuneration levels reasonable? Our quick analysis into CEO remuneration would seem to indicate they are. For companies with market capitalisations over US$8.0b, like Costco Wholesale, the median CEO pay is around US$13m.

Costco Wholesale's CEO took home a total compensation package worth US$9.9m in the year leading up to August 2022. That seems pretty reasonable, especially given it's below the median for similar sized companies. CEO remuneration levels are not the most important metric for investors, but when the pay is modest, that does support enhanced alignment between the CEO and the ordinary shareholders. It can also be a sign of a culture of integrity, in a broader sense.

Is Costco Wholesale Worth Keeping An Eye On?

One positive for Costco Wholesale is that it is growing EPS. That's nice to see. Earnings growth might be the main attraction for Costco Wholesale, but the fun does not stop there. With a meaningful level of insider ownership, and reasonable CEO pay, a reasonable mind might conclude that this is one stock worth watching. It's still necessary to consider the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Costco Wholesale , and understanding it should be part of your investment process.

There's always the possibility of doing well buying stocks that are not growing earnings and do not have insiders buying shares. But for those who consider these important metrics, we encourage you to check out companies that do have those features. You can access a free list of them here.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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