Costco 2Q profit jumps 36 percent with help from tax cuts

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 36 percent jump in its fiscal second-quarter profit thanks partly to a $74 million boost from tax cuts, but the results fell short of expectations.

The Issaquah, Washington-based company said it had net income of $701 million, or $1.59 per share. That's up from $515 million, or $1.17 per share.

Earnings, adjusted for pretax gains, were $1.42 per share.

The results fell short of the $1.45 per share that the Wall Street analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected.

The warehouse club operator posted revenue of $32.99 billion in the period, topping Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $32.72 billion.

Costco said its comparable sales, which exclude the impact from brand-new stores, rose 8.4 percent overall with slower growth in Costco's U.S. stores of 7.1 percent. Of Costco's 749 stores, 519 are in the U.S.

Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said the company plans to share some of the tax savings with employees, but it wasn't ready to announce details Wednesday.

Costco shares have climbed roughly 1 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 2 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $187.44, an increase of 12 percent in the last 12 months.


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