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August Sales Healthy at Costco - Analyst Blog

By: Zacks.com
Posted: 9/6/2013 10:40:00 AM
Referenced Stocks: COST;FRED;GPS;SMRT

Despite a challenging environment, Costco Wholesale Corporation ( COST ) came up with healthy sales report for August. Costco delivered comparable-store sales (comps) growth of 4% that surpassed analysts' expectations. Comps increased 4% at U.S. and 2% at international locations.

Excluding the effect of gasoline prices and foreign currency fluctuations, Costco's comparable-store sales for August rose 6%, reflecting comparable sales growth of 5% at its U.S. locations and 8% at international outlets. 

On the whole, retailers came up with mixed sales results for August. The month got off to a slow start and the shift in consumers' shopping preferences toward big-ticket items hurt sales of apparel, shoes and accessories. However, sales picked up later as retailers spent more on promotions and came up with lucrative discounts to drive traffic. However, heavy discounts raise concerns about margins.

Apparel retailer, Stein Mart Inc ( SMRT ), impressed analysts by posting a 3.8% rise in comps, while The Gap, Inc . ( GPS ), witnessed a 2% increase in comps. However, discount store operator, Fred's, Inc . ( FRED ), reported flat comps for the month of August.

Comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 increased 5%, buoyed by 5% growth at U.S. and 4% increase at international locations. Excluding the effect of gasoline prices and foreign currency fluctuations, Costco's comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter witnessed growth of 5%. Comps increased 5% at U.S. and 7% at international locations.

Total net sales for August rose 7% to $7.95 billion from $7.44 billion in the year-ago period. Costco's net sales for the fourth quarter increased 1% to $31.8 billion from $31.5 billion in the year-ago period.

Currently, Costco holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).



COSTCO WHOLE CP (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report

FREDS INC (FRED): Free Stock Analysis Report

GAP INC (GPS): Free Stock Analysis Report

STEIN MART INC (SMRT): Free Stock Analysis Report

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