April 11 Warehouse club chain Costco Wholesale
Corp reported a 4 percent rise in March sales at stores
open at least a year, missing analysts' expectations, due to
lower fuel prices and a strong dollar, which hurt the value of
its sales overseas.
Costco, which sells everything from potato chips to
artificial grass, also has gas stations at its giant stores.
Analysts were expecting sales to rise 5.2 percent, including
the effects of fuel and foreign exchange, according to Thomson
Average gasoline selling prices for the month were $3.71 per
gallon this year, compared with $3.93 a year earlier, David
Sherwood, Costco's director of finance and investor relations,
Net sales at Costco rose 7 percent to $9.67 billion for the
five-week period ended April 7.
Costco is the largest U.S. warehouse club chain and competes
with privately held BJ's Wholesale and Wal-Mart Stores Inc's
The Issaquah, Washington-based company has 626 warehouse
stores around the world, including 449 in the United States and
Puerto Rico. It plans to open up to ten stores before Sept 1.