Analysts, Options Traders Target Costco Stock After Quarterly Win

No fewer than seven analysts lifted their price targets

Assistant Editor
Sep 24, 2021 at 10:18 AM
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Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings after the close yesterday. The big-box retail store announced profits of $3.90 per share, which is higher than Wall Street's anticipated $3.57 per share, we well as better-than-expected revenue. To follow, no fewer than seven analysts raised their price targets on COST, with the highest from Morgan Stanley to $510 from $500. Elsewhere, the company announced that is once again limiting the purchases of items such as bath tissues, paper towels, and bottled water, due to rising Covid-19 cases. 

At last check, COST was up 1.6% to trade at $459.88. The stock has been cooling since its recent Sept. 9 record high of $469.77. However, long-term support at the ascending 40-day moving average caught this week's pullback, and the equity is looking to close back above its 30-day moving average, which kept a lid on gains for most of the week. Year-to-date, Costco stock is up around 22%. 

In the options pits, puts have been more popular than usual. This is per the security's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.86 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which stands higher than 98% of readings in its annual range. Though calls outnumbered puts on an absolute basis during this time, puts have rarely been more popular in the past year. 

Today, options traders have been quick to the draw, with 21,000 calls and 14,000 puts across the tape straight out of the gate -- six times the typical volume seen at this point. The weekly 9/24 460-strike call is the most popular, followed by the 465-strike call in the same series, with positions being opened at both. 

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