Costco Shares Rocket Higher on Virus-Scare Stockpiling

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By Kim Khan – Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:) jumped sharply Monday following reports of full parking lots and empty shelves over the weekend as consumers looked to load up on essentials in case of prolonged periods at home due to the novel coronavirus.

Shares jumped 9.2% in midday trading.

The sharp uptick in shopping should result in material comparable-sales benefits for the wholesaler, according to Oppenheimer.

“Our observations and conversations with store employees (and) management suggest a strong pickup in traffic starting Thursday through at least Saturday,” Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh wrote in a note.

Parikh has a buy on the stock, with a price target of $335 per share.

The company reported a 6.6% rise in comparable sales for the four weeks ended Feb. 2.

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