(Corrects paragraph 4 to say quarterly revenue missed
estimates, not beat)
* Profit falls 15 pct to $463 mln
* Sales rise 6 percent to $25.76 bln
March 6 Warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale
Corp's quarterly profit fell 15 percent, missing
analysts' estimates, hurt by weaker gross margins in its
fresh-food business and some non-foods merchandises.
The company's profit fell to $463 million, or $1.05 per
share, for the 12 weeks ended Feb. 16 from $547 million, or
$1.24 per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average had expected the company to earn $1.17
per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 6 percent to $25.76 billion, missing the average
analyst estimate of $26.65 billion.
Weaker gross margins, particularly during the four-week
holiday selling season, and lower international profit due to
weakening of foreign exchange rates hurt the results, Richard
Galanti, chief financial officer, said.
Costco, which sells everything from carrots to coffins at
its cavernous stores, said sales at stores open at least a year
rose 3 percent in the quarter.
Excluding fuel and forex, same-store sales rose 5 percent
for the 12-week period.
Costco has seen steady growth in sales since 2009 due to a
continuing increase in its membership base, which saw 4.3
million new members signing up in 2013, according to research
(Reporting by Varun Aggarwal and Aditi Shrivastava; Editing by