Costco Wholesale - COST - close: 158.28 change: +0.52

Stop Loss: 152.90
Target(s): To Be Determined
Current Option Gain/Loss: Unopened
Average Daily Volume = 1.9 million
Entry on October -- at $---.--
Listed on October 29, 2015
Time Frame: Exit PRIOR to earnings in mid December
New Positions: Yes, see below

Company Description

Trade Description:
We are bringing COST back to the Option Investor newsletter. Shares have been doing well since they bottomed in August this year. We were in COST last week and were unexpectedly stopped out on this Monday's gap down.

If you're not familiar with COST they are in the services sector. The company runs a membership warehouse business that competes with the likes of Sam's Club (a division of Wal-Mart). According to the company, "Costco currently operates 686 warehouses, including 480 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 89 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 27 in the United Kingdom, 23 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 11 in Taiwan, seven in Australia and one in Spain. The Company plans to open up to an additional 16 new warehouses (including one relocation to a larger and better-located facility) prior to the end of its fiscal year on August 30, 2015. Costco also operates electronic commerce web sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico."

Revenue growth has been lackluster this year. COST has managed to beat Wall Street estimates on the bottom line but the revenue number has been soft. Their most recent quarterly report was announced on September 29th. Earnings were up +10% from a year ago to $1.73 a share. That beat estimates. Yet COST said their Q4 revenues were virtually flat (+0.7%) to $35.78 billion. That missed expectations. Comparable store sales were up +2% in the U.S. but down -10% in Canada.

A lot of COST's revenue troubles have come from lower oil, which has pushed gas prices lower. The big drop in gas prices cuts their revenue growth. Plus the stronger dollar hurts their foreign sales. The company continues to expand its presence in the U.S. and overseas. Management plans to launch 12 new warehouses this quarter. Overall COST plans to build 32 new stores in the next 12 months, including its first store in France.

Wall Street is generally bullish on COST. Out of the twenty analysts that cover the stock 12 of them have a "strong buy" rating. COST has seen its price target upgraded twice this month. The most recent upgrade was this week with a $180 target. The point & figure chart is very bullish and forecasting a long-term target of $239.00.

The last few days have seen COST consolidating gains with a sideways move in the $155.00-158.50 area. The intraday high was set last week at $158.80. Tonight we are suggesting a trigger to buy calls at $158.85. We will plan on exiting prior to COST's earnings report in December.

Trigger @ $158.85

- Suggested Positions -

Buy the DEC $165 CALL (COST151218C165) current ask $1.25
option price is a current quote and not a suggested entry price.

Entry disclaimer: To avoid an unfavorable entry point, we will not launch a new play if the stock gaps open more than $1.00 past our suggested entry point.

Option Format: symbol-year-month-day-call-strike

Daily Chart:

Weekly Chart: