Costco's Comparable-Store Sales for October Beat Estimates - Analyst Blog

Shares of Costco Wholesale Corporation ( COST ) witnessed marginal growth of roughly 1%, following comparable-store sales (comps) results for the four weeks ended Nov 2, 2014, faring better than analysts' expectations. On Nov 6, the warehouse retailer announced comps growth of 4%, reflecting an increase of 6% at its U.S. locations. Comps remained flat at international locations.

Excluding the effect of deflation in gasoline prices and the impact of foreign currency fluctuations, Costco's comps for October rose 7%, reflecting a respective increase of 7% at its U.S. locations and 6% at international outlets.

Retailers benefited during the month under review from increasing consumer confidence and improving job prospects. Retailers such as Rite Aid Corporation ( RAD ) and L Brands, Inc. ( LB ) saw their comps rise 5.5% and 3%, respectively, during the month.

Coming to Costco, comps for the 9-week period increased 4%, buoyed by a 6% and 1% increase across the U.S. and international locations, respectively. Excluding the effect of gasoline prices and foreign currency fluctuations, comps for the period jumped 6%. Comps increased 7% in the U.S. and 6% at international locations.

Costco's total net sales for October grew 7% to $8.73 billion from $8.15 billion in the year-ago period. Net sales for the 9-week period increased 7% to $19.30 billion from $18.01 billion in the prior-year period.

The company operates 666 warehouses, 470 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 88 in Canada, 34 in Mexico, 26 in the United Kingdom, 20 in Japan, 11 in Korea, 10 in Taiwan, 6 in Australia and 1 in Spain. Further, the company plans to open 5 more warehouses before the end of calendar-year 2014.

Costco carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A better-ranked stock in the retail sector is Burlington Stores, Inc. ( BURL ), which sports a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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