Costco's quarterly profit, sales beat estimates

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Citrus Heights, California, USA - Jun 17, 2011: Costco Wholesale storefront in Citrus Heights, California. Costco Wholesale operates an international chain of membership warehouses, carrying brand name merchandise at substantially lower prices. (slobo)

Wholesale club retailer Costco Wholesale Corp reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue on Thursday, as it hiked membership fees and sold more products in the United States.

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Despite Amazon Inc's disruptive takeover of Whole Foods by adding brick-and-motor locations and slashing prices, Costco's U.S. comp sales rose 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

Membership fees, which accounted for about 72 percent of Costco's operating income in 2016, rose 13 percent to $943 million in the 17-week quarter ended Sept. 3.

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Excluding the impact of fuel and currency fluctuations, total comp sales rose 5.7 percent, while analysts at research firm Consensus Metrix expected an increase of 5.1 percent.

Net income attributable to Costco rose to $919 million, or $2.08 per share, in the quarter, from $779 million, or $1.77 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose 15.7 percent to $42.30 billion.

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Analysts on average had estimated earnings of $2.02 per share and revenue of $41.55 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. 

(Reporting by Karina Dsouza and Vibhuti Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto)

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