Costco has some great deals, but a pricey membership. Here's one workaround for low prices without the membership cost.
The membership-based warehouse chain offers a classic example of an economic moat, and it continues to grow through new store openings, comparable sales growth, and its newer e-commerce business. Costco is a rare retailer that has delivered strong results both during the pandemic and the quarters since the economy reopened, a testament to its ability to bring in customers in a wide range of economic environments. In a difficult environment, Costco delivered solid fourth-quarter results, with comparable sales up 3.8% and adjusted earnings per share of $4.86, up from $4.20, though it benefited from an extra week in the calendar.
Costco's (NASDAQ: COST) business is a lot more predictable than your average retailer's. That stability springs from two big factors. The first is the chain's massive global sales base that spans both consumer staple products and discretionary purchases like home furnishings. Costco's membership model also means that most of its earnings flow from charging fees to members rather than product sales.