Costco comparable-store sales fall further than Wall Street had expected in March

IndustriesAssociated Press

March sales at Costco stores open at least a year fell more than Wall Street had expected.

The company said same-store sales, which are a key indicator of a retailer's health, fell 2 percent during the five-week period ending April 5. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predicted a 1.2 percent decrease.

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The warehouse club operator said the decrease is due partly to one less sales day during the period because of Easter.

Excluding the impact of lower gasoline prices and foreign exchange fluctuations, sales at stores open at least a year rose 4 percent overall.

Total revenue for the period fell slightly to $10.4 billion.

For the year, sales at stores open at least a year increased 2 percent, up 4 percent in the U.S. and down 2 percent internationally.

Excluding the impact of lower gasoline prices and foreign exchange fluctuations, those sales climbed 7 percent at home and abroad.

Total revenue rose slightly to $67.58 billion.

Costco expects to report its third-quarter financial results on May 27.

Costco Wholesale Corp., which is based in Issaquah, Washington, runs 672 warehouses, including 474 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 89 in Canada, 34 in Mexico, 26 in the U.K., 20 in Japan, 11 in Korea, 10 in Taiwan, seven in Australia and one in Spain.