Costco First Quarter Earnings Rose 30%

Costco First Quarter Earnings Rose 30%
By Costco Wholesale (Costco Wholesale) [Public domain], <a href="">via Wikimedia Commons</a>

Costco First Quarter Earnings Rose 30%

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)’s earnings rose by 30 percent to $416 million or $0.95 diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2013. During the same quarter last year, the wholesale retailer reported a profit of $320 million or $0.73 diluted earnings per share.

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST)’s total revenue increased 10 percent to $23.20 billion, up from $21.18 billion during the same period in 2011. The company beat the $23.67 billion revenue and $0.93 earnings per share consensus estimate by Wall Street analysts, based on data from Thomson Reuters.

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According to the company, its total comparable sales climbed by 7 percent due to the positive impact of inflation in gasoline prices and the strengthening of foreign currencies. Same store sales in the United States and internationally increased by 7 percent and 9 percent, respectively.

The report from Wall Street Journal cited that Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) exceeded the expectations of analysts during the previous quarters. Many consumers were encouraged to purchase in bulk at Costco to save money amid the economic instability. The prices of commodities at the wholesale retailer are less expensive than other retailers. Costco also sells cheaper gasoline than other gasoline stations.

The financial statement of the company also indicated that its revenue from membership fees was $511 million, a 14 percent increase from the $447 million reported a year earlier. Costco increased its membership fee by 10 percent, for the first time in five years, in the United States and Canada last November.

The wholesale retailer’s merchandise cost rose by 9.5 percent to $20.73 billion from $18.93 billion. Its operating margin climbed from 2.5 percent to 2.7 percent during the quarter.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend payment of $0.275 per common share during the quarter. The company ended the quarter with $3.89 billion in cash and cash equivalents. Its total assets were $29.32 billion. Its long-term debt, excluding current portion, was $1.366 billion.

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