Tags: costco | earnings | profit | wholesale

Costco Profit Misses Estimates as Operating Costs Rise

Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 09:02 AM

Costco Wholesale Corp. posted a weaker-than-expected 1.3 percent rise in quarterly profit as operating costs rose, sending its shares down 2 percent before the bell.

Costco earned $617 million, or $1.40 per share, in the 16-week fourth quarter ended Sept. 1, compared with $609 million, or $1.39 per share, in the 17-week period a year earlier.

Costs rose 0.8 percent to $31.5 billion, including a 1.8 percent rise in selling, general and administrative (SG&A) expenses.

Sterne Agee & Leach analyst Charles Grom said he did not expect the stock to get hit hard because most of the miss was the result of the higher expenses.

Janney Capital Markets analyst David Strasser said the higher SG&A expenses could be attributable to spending on technology and healthcare.

Costco, whose competitors include Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s Sam's Club and private chain BJ's Wholesale Club Inc., charges annual fees to shop at its cavernous stores, which stock everything from onions to computers. It typically prices gasoline at or below prices offered at nearby stations.

Total revenue, including membership fees, rose 0.8 percent to $32.49 billion. Same-store sales rose 5 percent.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.46 per share, excluding one-time items, on sales of $32.82 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Costco said September sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, rose 3 percent, including the impact of fuel prices and foreign exchange. Analysts on average had expected a rise of 3.7 percent.

Costco's shares were trading at $110.82 before the opening on the Nasdaq. The stock closed at $112.21 on Tuesday.

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Costco Wholesale Corp. posted a weaker-than-expected 1.3 percent rise in quarterly profit as operating costs rose, sending its shares down 2 percent before the bell.
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2013-02-09
Wednesday, 09 Oct 2013 09:02 AM
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