Ryan Gosling Writes Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST)

Costco Wholesale Corporation's (COST) treatment of chickens draws Ryan Gosling's ire

Jun 23, 2015 at 1:55 PM
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Late yesterday, news surfaced that Ryan Gosling decided to take a moment out of his busy day of being dreamy to sit down with his notebook and write his feelings to Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ: COST). The result? This letter to COST CEO Craig Jelinek, reviling "abhorrent cruelty including rows upon rows of birds confined in filth-laden cages with mummified corpses of their cage-mates -- eating, sleeping, defecating, and laying eggs on top of dead birds." Gosling added that "hens' wings, legs, and necks" were trapped in "corroded wires of their battery cages." The Remember the Titans actor cited this recent undercover investigation as evidence of the cruelty.

Gosling wasn’t done with drawing attention to the cruelty. He continued to note that "it is appalling that Costco has been selling these eggs with deceptive labeling," referring to "graphics of birds living out in a green pasture" on the cartons. The Hollywood icon feels that the chickens "deserve the same mercy" as the veal calves and pigs that COST has decided to free from cages. The letter concluded with Gosling calling for COST to "set plans now to go completely cage-free for its eggs."

This news garnered about as much attention on the Street as The Ides of March did at the box office. Shares of COST have traded in a tight range between $139.53 and $140.90 throughout the day. The stock is currently facing overhead resistance from its 10-week moving average, which has acted as a roadblock since the beginning of April, and is working its way down through the $143 area. Longer-term, COST is in danger of breaching its 10-month moving average for the first time in a year. 

Analysts are split toward Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST), with 12 doling out "buy" or better ratings, and the remaining nine offering up "holds."  On the other hand, COST puts have been more popular than usual among buyers during the past 10 weeks on the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). The equity's 50-day put/call volume ratio on this trio of exchanges is 0.96 -- in the 85th percentile of its annual range.

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