Costco Earnings Aren’t Enough for Investors

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When Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) released its fiscal fourth-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday, the company said that it had $2.36 in earnings per share (EPS) and $44.4 billion in revenue. That compared with consensus estimates of $2.36 in EPS and $44.27 billion in revenue, as well as the $2.08 per share and $42.3 billion posted in the same period of last year.

During the quarter, total comparable sales increased 9.5% from last year. This consisted of a 10.8% increase in comparable sales in the United States, a 5.7% increase in Canada and a 6.7% increase in international comparable sales. On a constant currency basis and excluding the impact of gas, comparable sales increased 7.2%.

At the same time, total e-commerce sales increased 26.2% year over year. On a constant currency basis and excluding gas, e-commerce sales were relatively unchanged at 26.3%.

Costco ended its 2018 fiscal year with 762 warehouses in operation, including 527 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 100 in Canada and 135 other international stores.

On the books, Costco cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaled $7.76 billion at the end of the quarter, up from $5.78 billion at the end of the same period last year.

Shares of Costco closed Thursday at $231.68, with a consensus analyst price target of $241.48 and a 52-week trading range of $154.11 to $245.16. Following the announcement, the stock was down over 2% at $225.50 in early trading indications Friday.