Costco (COST) net profit fell to $463M from $547M a year earlier, which was boosted by a $62M tax benefit. "Even with that distinction, however, the year-over-year comparison was unfavorable," says Costco.
Other factors that led to lower earnings include: weaker sales and gross margins in some non-food products, particularly during the four-week holiday selling season; weaker gross margins in the fresh foods business; and lower international profits due to currency fluctuations.
"The first four-week period of the quarter represented the majority of earnings underperformance," Costco said.
Comparable sales +3%, U.S. +4%, international unchanged. Excluding the negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange, comparable sales +5%, U.S. +5%, international +7%.
Revenue from membership fees increased 4.1% to $550M.
In February, overall sales +4% to $7.9B. Comparable sales +2%, U.S. +3% and international -1%. Excluding gas and forex, comparable sales +4%, U.S. +4%, international +5%.
Costco operates 649 warehouses and plans to open another 14 by the end of FY 2014. (PR)