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Costco first quarter results miss estimates
December 11th, 2013
ISSAQUAH, Wash. – Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 rose 2.2% to $425 million, or 96 cents per diluted share, at Costco Wholesale Corp. Sales for the period increased 5.4% to $24.47 billion.
Comparable-store sales grew 3%, fueled by a 3% rise in domestic warehouses, while Costco’s international operations generated a 1% increase. Excluding the negative impact from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange rates, U.S. comparable-store results grew 4%, while international was up 6%, yielding a 5% improvement for the total company.
According to Thomson Reuters, analysts on average had projected first quarter earnings of $1.02 per share. Costco’s comparable-store sales for the four weeks ended December 1 totaled 2%, including the negative impact of gas and foreign exchange, short of the 3.3% expected by analysts.
In addition to pressures from fuel prices and currency fluctuations, the bottom-line performance reflects a 7.7% increase in selling, general and administrative expense to $2.5 billion, and a 33.3% jump in pre-opening expenses to $24 million. Costco opened 14 warehouses during the first quarter, part of its plan to launch a record 36 new warehouses during the current fiscal year. About half of the new units will be in international markets.