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Costco earnings advance in quarter

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Same-store sales were flat for the 16 weeks, year

Costco earnings advance in quarter
ISSAQUAH, Wash.  — Costco Wholesale Corp. on Thursday reported fiscal fourth-quarter net income of $779 million, beating expectations and up 1.6% over the prior year period.

Net income for the fiscal year was $2.35 billion, or $5.33 per diluted share, compared to the $2.38 billion, or $5.37 per diluted share, recorded last year. Net income last year was positively impacted by a $57 million ($.13 per diluted share) tax benefit in connection with a second-quarter special cash dividend, the company says.

Net sales for the fourth quarter were $35.73 billion, an increase of 2% over the $34.99 billion for the quarter in fiscal 2015. Net sales for the fiscal year were $116.07 billion, which also represents an increase of 2% over the $113.67 billion posted last year.

Same-store sales were flat for both the fourth quarter and the year. For the 16-weeks ended August 28, comparable-store sales in the U.S. were down 1% versus the prior year period. Same-store sales were up 2% in Canada, but they were down 2% in other international markets, translating into no increase for the total company. Similarly, for the fiscal year Costco reported a same-store sales gain of 1% in the U.S., but declines of 3% in Canada and in other international markets, for no gain overall.

Comparable sales were hurt by gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange rates, the company said. When those negative impacts are excluded, the company as a whole posted same-store sales increases of 3% for the fourth quarter and 4% for the year.

Costco finished its 2016 fiscal year with 715 outlets, including 501 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 91 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 28 in the United Kingdom, 25 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 12 in Taiwan, eight in Australia and two in Spain. The company says it plans to open up to an additional nine new warehouse clubs (including one relocation) before the end of calendar year.

 


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