There was a mixed reaction on
Costco Wholesale Corporation
) comparable-store sales results for December. While shares of
this warehouse retailer dropped 0.6% or 66 cents during the last
trading session, it witnessed a marginal improvement of 3 cents
during after-market trading hours.
Investors might have been apprehensive due to
lower-than-expected holiday sales data pouring in from other
retailers but gradually gained confidence on Costco's
Despite a challenging consumer environment, Costco's
comparable-store sales results for December better analysts'
expectations. The company delivered comparable-store sales growth
of 3%, portraying an increase of 5% at the U.S. and 1% at
Excluding the effect of deflation in gasoline prices and
adverse impact of foreign currency fluctuations, Costco's
comparable-store sales for December rose 5%, reflecting
comparable sales growth of 5% at its U.S. locations and 7% at
The holiday season was a tough one, while some make their way
out, others struggled to lure budget-constrained consumers.
Consumer spending environment was not very convincing, and
bargain hunters went from one shop to another to grab the best
American Eagle Outfitters Inc.
) reported disappointing net sales and comparable-store sales
results for the nine weeks ending Jan 4, 2014. Sales dipped 2%,
while comps slipped 7%.
Sears Holdings Corporation
) announced one of its most disappointing holiday season sales
results. Total domestic comparable-store sales for the nine-week
period ended on Jan 6, 2014, declined 7.4%.
) emerged strong during the holiday season, posting
comparable-store sales increase of 3.6% for the November and
December period collectively, while including departments
licensed to third parties, comps rose 4.3%.
Coming to Costco, comparable-store sales for the 18-week
period increased 3%, buoyed by 4% growth at the U.S. and 1%
increase at international locations. Excluding the effect of
gasoline prices and foreign currency fluctuations, Costco's
comparable-store sales for the period jumped 5%. Comps increased
4% at the U.S. and 7% at international locations.
Total net sales for December rose 6% to $11.53 billion from
$10.87 billion in the year-ago period. Costco's net sales for the
18-week period increased 6% to $38.33 billion from $36.26 billion
in the year-ago period.
Costco currently operates 648 warehouses, comprising 461 in
the United States and Puerto Rico, 87 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, 25
in the United Kingdom, 18 in Japan, 10 in Taiwan, 9 in Korea, and
5 in Australia.
Currently, Costco carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
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