March 7, 2018 / 9:56 PM / in 4 months

Costco's profit, same-store sales miss estimates

(Reuters) - Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O) on Wednesday missed estimates for quarterly profit and same-store sales, as the retailer faced stiff competition from Walmart (WMT.N) and Amazon in a cut-throat U.S. retail industry.

The membership-based retail chain’s heavy spending on bolstering its e-commerce capabilities and matching Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) prices in the last year have taken a toll on its bottom line.

Excluding items, Costco earned $1.42 per share, missing analysts’ estimates of $1.47, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

However, Costco has been one of the few retailers that has held its own since Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods earlier in 2017, a deal that sent jitters among traditional grocery retailers and their investors.

The company’s shares have since bounced back, from their initial fall, and hit a record high in January.

Net income attributable to the company rose to $701 million, or $1.59 per share, in the second quarter ended Feb. 18, from $515 million, or $1.17 per share, a year earlier.

The company had a $74 million gain in the reported quarter related to changes in the U.S. tax law.

Comparable-store sales, excluding the impact of fuel and currency changes, rose 5.4 percent. Analysts on average had estimated a 5.6 percent increase.

Total revenue climbed 10.8 percent to $33 billion, edging past expectations of $32.75 billion.

Issaquah, Washington-based Costco’s shares fell slightly in after-hours trading.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Sai Sachin Ravikumar

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