Analysts are Raising Price Targets of These 5 Stocks

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In this article, we discuss the 5 stocks that analysts are raising price targets of. If you want to read our detailed analysis of these stocks, go directly to Analysts are Raising Price Targets of These 10 Stocks.

5. Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 54  

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) is ranked fifth on our list of 10 stocks that analysts are raising price targets of. The firm operates membership warehouses that sell branded and private-label products. It is headquartered in Washington. 

On September 27, investment advisory Credit Suisse reiterated a Neutral rating on Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) stock but raised the price target to $490 from $400. Robert Moskow, an analyst at the advisory, issued the ratings update. 

At the end of the second quarter of 2021, 54 hedge funds in the database of Insider Monkey held stakes worth $4.3 billion in Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), down from 56 in the preceding quarter worth $4 billion. 

In its Q1 2021 investor letter, Ensemble Capital, an asset management firm, highlighted a few stocks and Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) was one of them. Here is what the fund said:

“We saw these dynamics at play in the Fund. Some of the worst-performing stocks this quarter were among our best performers in Q1 2020. Another example was the market’s reaction to Costco Wholesale (1.5% weight in the Fund) during the quarter. From December 31, 2020 to March 8th, Costco shares declined 17% and dropped below their pre-pandemic high. The common rationale offered by sell-side analysts was that Costco would face difficult one-year “comps” (i.e. same-store sales, which compare sales from stores open for at least a year). Because so many consumers rushed to Costco ahead of shelter-in-place and subsequent quarantines, it will be harder for Costco to meaningfully beat those results when compared year-over-year. That may indeed be true, but we struggle to understand how Costco could be “less valuable” than it was a year earlier when it concurrently increased its membership base by over 7%, or 3.9 million members. With membership renewal rates around 90%, the vast majority of the new customers Costco brought in last year will be around for years to come.

Analysts also complained about Costco raising its already industry-leading minimum wage to $16/hour, with an average “effective” pay of $23-$24/hour when you include overtime and bonuses. Costco paying its employees “too much” has been a common gripe of Wall Street analysts for at least two decades. While the extra pay does indeed impact short-term profit margins, it also serves to make Costco more durable, as its flywheel (i.e. a virtuous value cycle) starts with happy employees. A 20-year chart of Costco stock price is evidence that this strategy works and we’re confident that it will continue to work.”

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