Costco Wholesale Corp Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ:COST) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, October 5, 2011. Costco Wholesale operates membership warehouses that offer a selection of nationally branded and selected private-label products in categories such as food, appliances, and sporting goods, at low prices. .

Costco Wholesale Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of $1.09 per share, a rise of 12.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from $1.10. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at $1.09 during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $3.32 per share, a rise of 12.5% from last year.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 15.2% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $27.78 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 12 analysts rating it as a buy, three rating it as a sell and seven rating it as a hold.

Key Stats:

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 5.9% while it rose 16.4% in the second quarter and 17.3% in the first quarter.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 16% to $20.62 billion in third quarter. The figure rose 11.4% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 11.2% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 7.8% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG), BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. (NYSE:BJ), Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO), Gordmans Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:GMAN), Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR),, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY), Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Bed, Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY), Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Fred’s, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRED).

Stock Price Performance: During August 3, 2011 to September 29, 2011, the stock price had risen $5.90 (7.7%) from $77.08 to $82.98. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between September 9, 2011 and September 20, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 7.8% (+$6.17) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 22, 2011 and August 2, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 7.1% (-$5.82) over that span. Shares are up $11.41 (+15.9%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

Investing Insights: Steve Jobs Prepares to Deliver a New Catalyst for Apple’s Stock.