Increased revenue from selling memberships and strength overseas helped push Costco Wholesale Corp.'s net income up 16 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter.
The nation's biggest warehouse club operator has seen the number of customers in its clubs grow as shoppers hunt for deals in the weak economy.
Costco reported Wednesday that it earned $432 million, or 97 cents per share, for the period ended Aug. 29. That's up from $374 million, or 85 cents per share, a year ago.
This beat analysts' estimates of 95 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.
Revenue rose 8 percent to $24.13 billion, helped by more money from membership fees. That missed Wall Street's projected $24.23 billion.
Revenue from sales at clubs open at least a year climbed 6 percent. Excluding the effects of higher gas prices and changes in currency exchange rates, the figure rose 4 percent. The figure is a key measurement of a retailer's health because it measures results at existing stores rather than newly opened ones.
For the year, net income increased 19 percent to $1.3 billion, or $2.92 per share, compared with $1.09 billion, or $2.47 per share, a year earlier.
Annual revenue rose 9.1 percent to $77.95 billion.
Revenue from sales at clubs open at least a year increased 7 percent for fiscal 2010. Removing higher gas prices and changes in currency exchange rates, the metric rose 4 percent.
Costco, based in Issaquah, Wash., runs 573 warehouses, including 417 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 79 in Canada, 22 in the U.K., seven in Korea, six in Taiwan, nine in Japan, one in Australia and 32 in Mexico.
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