Discount retailer Costco (COST) rallied nicely since hitting a low of $262.68 in late February. The stock hit a recent high of $388.07 and has been consolidating over the last few weeks. The rally from June through October put the stock in overbought territory based on both the 10-week RSI and the weekly stochastic indicators.
While I wouldn’t mind owning Costco, I think it is more prudent for investors to wait for a better entry point.
Something that jumped out at me is the trend channel that has formed over the last two years and how the stock is bumping up against the upper rail of the channel at this time.
With the stock hitting the upper rail of the channel and being in overbought territory, some investors might consider shorting Costco. Personally I wouldn’t recommend that because the company’s fundamentals are too good for me to consider a bearish position. Plus the stock could consolidate for a few months. A consolidation would move the stock out of overbought territory and if it last long enough it would give the lower rail time to catch up and provide support.
If we look at Tickeron’s Fundamental Screener, Costco gets a great score in the Profit vs. Risk Rating, a good score in the Price Growth Rating, and average scores in the SMR and P/E Growth ratings. The company does get three negative scores as well, but if we look at those areas, they are based on the timing and the stock price. The Outlook Rating is poor, and so is the Valuation Rating. The company also gets a negative mark for its Seasonality Score.
Another way to play the current setup on Costco would be to sell out of the money puts. Like I said, I would like to own the stock, but not at the current price. Because of the fundamentals, I don’t like the risk/reward relationship of shorting the stock. If the stock does fall down to the $330 area, it would mean a drop of 11.9% and a gain of that much on a short sell. However, if the stock continues to rise and hug that upper rail, the short position starts losing money.
If we look at the March ’21 330-strike puts, they are selling at $4.30 right now, or $430 for each contract. To sell the puts, investors would have to put up $3,730 in margin. If the stock drops below $330 and the stock gets put to you, your cost basis for owning Costco is $325.70. That’s down near the lower rail and where you want to enter a new position on Costco in my estimation.
If Costco continues higher or only drops a little, you keep the $430 and you earn a return on margin of 11.5%, a similar return as the short sell, but with less risk.
I like the idea of making money while waiting for a better entry price, especially on a stock that looks as strong as Costco.
Here’s what the complete outlook from Tickeron looks like.