Costco Wholesale Sees Growth in Same-Store, E-Commerce Sales

By FeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) reported its first-quarter profit rose 17% from a year ago as same-store sales rose by a larger margin than analysts expected.

The Issaquah, Wash.-based warehouse club on Thursday reported a profit of $640 million, or $1.45 a share, up from $545 million, or $1.24 a share, a year earlier.

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Revenue for the membership-based warehouse retailer jumped 13% to $31.81 billion in the first quarter. Retail sales rose 13%.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast adjusted earnings of $1.34 a share on $31.47 billion in revenue.

Investors have expressed concerns about Costco's ability to compete with Amazon.com Inc., following the online giant's acquisition of Whole Foods, while also being able to address e-commerce initiatives and membership growth.

Shares fell 0.5% in after-hours trading.

Same-store sales growth was 10.5% in the quarter, ahead of the 10.2% growth projected from analysts polled by FactSet. E-commerce sales rose 43.5%.

The 12-week quarter included one less sales day in the U.S. compared with last year due to the shift of Thanksgiving Day this year, Costco said. Pre-Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend sales also fell into the first quarter this year compared to the second quarter last year. Those factors produced a benefit of about 1.5% in the U.S., and slightly less worldwide, the company said.

Write to Aisha Al-Muslim at aisha.al-muslim@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 14, 2017 17:20 ET (22:20 GMT)