October 8, 2015

The S&P 500 was up 0.9% and Toronto was up 0.8%.

Stantec was up 3.8%, Costco was up 2.5%, Canadian Western Bank was up 2.3% to $26.50 and CN Rail was up 2.1%.

Melcor fell 4.5% to $15.42.

Oil is trading at $49.54.

Costco released same-store sales figures for September. The raw numbers did not look that great because they were hurt by currency impacts and lower gasoline prices. Adjusted for those factors the September figures were stellar with U.S. same-store sales up 8% and Canadian adjusted same-store sales up 11%.

Some of the Canadian increase might be due to higher prices as I believe they are saying the increase was 11% in Canadian dollars after adjusting for lower gasoline prices. If the volume increase was anything close to 11%, that is absolutely stunning. Clearly many Canadians love shopping at Costco. Some refuse on principle due to the fact that an annual membership must be purchased. In general, I don’t like to pay a membership to shop at a store. But Costco’s prices make the membership fee well worth the price.

Costco’s shares almost always seem expensive. It would be one to buy if its price pulled back significantly due to a something like a bad day in the markets as it did on August 24 when it briefly plunged as low as $117 from the $146 range at which it had been trading a few days previous. I grabbed some that day at $125. I had thrown in what seemed to be a low-ball bid before the market opened that day and it got filled. ┬áIt’s now at just under $152.