Costco Management Uses the Weather Excuse - Four Years in a Row

Jan.13.11 | About: Costco Wholesale (COST)

Do companies remember what they said a year ago on their monthly sales recordings? One would think so.

When reporting sales results for December 2010, Costco (NASDAQ:COST) has now foolishly suggested a negative comp store sales impact via weather in the month of December for 4 straight years. This is absolutely ridiculous. COST management should be ashamed and embarrassed.

On the other hand, in December 2010, BJ’s Wholesale (NYSE:BJ) suggests that more favorable weather boosted its comp store sales by +100 Bps in December 2010 versus LY. So, who do you believe? BJ or COST? We’re going with the former and not the latter.

We would advise the folks at COST that if they’re going to utilize the weather excuse…they should go back to the prior year script and double-check what faux excuse they used a year ago.

December 2010 Monthly Sales Recording – 01.06.2011

THE POSITIVE IMPACTS OF GASOLINE INFLATION ON FOREIGN CURRENCIES WERE SOMEWHAT OFFSET BY WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS IN MANY REGIONS WITHIN THE US, AS WELL AS IN CANADA AND THE UNITED KINGDOM. WE ESTIMATE THE ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS NEGATIVELY IMPACTED OUR REPORTED DECEMBER COMP SALES RESULTS BY APPROXIMATELY MINUS 1%.

December 2009 Monthly Sales Recording – 01.07.2010

WEATHER CONDITIONS IN THE MIDWEST AND NORTHEAST WERE DIFFICULT DURING THE MONTH, RESULTING IN SEVERAL PARTIAL SALES DAYS DUE TO EARLY CLOSINGS. THE ESTIMATED NEGATIVE IMPACT TO COMPARABLE SALES RESULTS FROM POOR WEATHER CONDITIONS IS APPROXIMATELY MINUS 50 BASIS POINTS.

December 2008 Monthly Sales Recording – 01.08.2009

FINALLY, WE ESTIMATE THAT SEVERE WEATHER CONDITIONS NEGATIVELY IMPACTED OUR DECEMBER COMP SALES RESULTS BY AN ADDITIONAL APPROXIMATELY MINUS 1%.

December 2007 Monthly Sales Recording – 01.10.2008

WE DID EXPERIENCE AN UNUSUAL AMOUNT OF BAD WEATHER DURING THE MONTH OF DECEMBER THIS YEAR, INCLUDING HEAVY SNOW IN EASTERN CANADA AND THE NORTHEAST DURING WEEK TWO OF THE REPORTING PERIOD. AND AS WELL AS HEAVY RAINS, OR WINDS AND FLOODS IN CALIFORNIA DURING WEEK FIVE OF THE MONTH. WE ESTIMATE THAT IN TOTAL THIS NEGATIVELY IMPACTED OUR OVERALL COMPARABLE SALES IN DECEMBER BY APPROXIMATELY -50 BASIS POINTS OR ABOUT 0.5 POINT.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.