Down 20% In 2022, Is Costco Stock a Buy Right Now?

Last year was a difficult one for stock market investors, to say the least. Not only did the riskiest and most speculative companies see their share prices plummet, but even

the most dominant, successful, and competitively advantaged enterprises experienced falling stock prices. Tightening monetary policy and a general risk aversion by investors

negatively affected businesses of all shapes and sizes.  Even Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST) wasn't immune from the despair. This top retail stock ended 2022 down 20%.

Does that mean it's a smart buy right now? Let's take a closer look.  Costco is facing a slowdown  As consumers flocked to its popular warehouses during the depths of the

pandemic, Costco flourished. Sales jumped 17.5% in fiscal 2021 and 15.8% in fiscal 2022 (ended Aug. 28), exceeding historical averages. In fact, year-over-year revenue growth was

above 12% in nine straight quarters from the fourth quarter of 2020 through Q4 2022.   But thanks to the softening macro environment, as well as a difficult prior-year

comparison, Costco's net revenue increased just 8.1% in the fiscal 2023 first quarter (ended Nov. 20). Same-store sales were up just 6.6% for the 12-week period. December's

figures were even lower, with net revenue and same-store sales rising by 7.6% and 5.5%, respectively, year over year.