May 30 Costco Wholesale Corp reported
third-quarter profit just above analysts' estimates, as its low
prices for food and gasoline appealed to shoppers.
The largest U.S. warehouse club chain typically offers
everyday items like eggs below supermarket prices, hoping
customers will stock up on other goods as well, and usually
prices gasoline lower than nearby competing stations to attract
Members pay up to $110 per year to shop at Costco's big
stores and website, which sell items ranging from food to
furniture. The fee revenue pads the bottom line, allowing the
company to offer low prices and take in thin profit margins on
products it sells.
Membership fees rose 12 percent to $531 million in the third
quarter ended May 12.
Costco said net income rose to $459 million, or $1.04 per
share, from $386 million, or 88 cents per share, a year earlier.
Analysts on average were expecting profit of $1.03 per
share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales rose 8 percent to $23.55 billion but were below market
estimates of $24.21 billion.
Total sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store
sales, rose 5 percent.
Shares of Costco closed at $112.95 on the Nasdaq on