Costco profits in first quarter 2014

Increased traffic at Costco helped fueled sales in the first quarter of 2014.

The company reported sales of $24.47 billion for the quarter, an increase from the $23.20 billion reported in first quarter 2013.

The company also produced a profit of $425 million, compared with the $416 profit last year.

Same-store sales for the quarter increased by 3%, including 3% in the United States and 1% in stores abroad.

While profits increased over the last quarter, the company's earnings per share of 96 cents fell short of the $1.03 expected by analysts.

Guggenheim Securities analyst John Heinbockel gave Costco's stock a "neutral" rating, noting that the results, while "disappointing," were not due to the health of the company itself, but rather factors such as a stronger U.S. dollar, decline in gross profits on gas and an unusual step-up in stock compensation expense. Additionally, the chain's Canadian business was described as "robust," with an 8% increase in same-store sales.

Costco's stock was at $118.35 per share on the NASDAQ in late-afternoon trading Wednesday, after opening at $118.10 and hitting a high of $120.30.

Costco's quarterly results follow reports of increased traffic but less spending in November. Although the company didn’t comment specifically on Thanksgiving weekend sales during a recorded call to recap its monthly results, the company confirmed that traffic increased a little more than 4% while average transaction sizes were down slightly. Costco and its direct competitors Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club were closed on Thanksgiving Day.

 

 

Costco profits in first quarter 2014

Increased traffic at Costco helped fueled sales in the first quarter of 2014.

The company reported sales of $24.47 billion for the quarter, an increase from the $23.20 billion reported in first quarter 2013.

The company also produced a profit of $425 million, compared with the $416 profit last year.

Same-store sales for the quarter increased by 3%, including 3% in the United States and 1% in stores abroad.

While profits increased over the last quarter, the company's earnings per share of 96 cents fell short of the $1.03 expected by analysts.

Guggenheim Securities analyst John Heinbockel gave Costco's stock a "neutral" rating, noting that the results, while "disappointing," were not due to the health of the company itself, but rather factors such as a stronger U.S. dollar, decline in gross profits on gas and an unusual step-up in stock compensation expense. Additionally, the chain's Canadian business was described as "robust," with an 8% increase in same-store sales.

Costco's stock was at $118.35 per share on the NASDAQ in late-afternoon trading Wednesday, after opening at $118.10 and hitting a high of $120.30.

Costco's quarterly results follow reports of increased traffic but less spending in November. Although the company didn’t comment specifically on Thanksgiving weekend sales during a recorded call to recap its monthly results, the company confirmed that traffic increased a little more than 4% while average transaction sizes were down slightly. Costco and its direct competitors Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club were closed on Thanksgiving Day.

 

 

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