Should Costco Get More Credit for Its Q2 Earnings?

Chris Lange

When Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) reported its most recent quarterly results after the markets closed on Thursday, the company said that it had $2.05 in earnings per share (EPS) and $34.74 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates had called for $1.82 in EPS and revenue of $34.67 billion, and the fiscal second quarter of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.70 on $32.36 billion in revenue.

During the latest quarter, net sales increased 7.4% year over year to $33.96 billion. Membership fees contributed about $776 million to total revenues, up from $737 million in the same period last year.

Comparable sales for the fiscal second quarter increased 5.5%, while in the same period last year comparable sales grew 5.6%. This is comprised of U.S. comparable sales that grew 7.0%, Canada comparable sales up 1.3% and other international comparable sales increased 1.7%.

E-commerce sales for the entire company increased 22.0% in the quarter, compared to an increase of 19.5% in the same quarter last year.

Costco currently operates 773 warehouses, including 536 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 100 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, 28 in the United Kingdom, 26 in Japan, 16 in Korea, 13 in Taiwan, 11 in Australia, two in Spain and one each in Iceland and France. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan.

Shares of Costco closed Thursday at $241.54, in a 52-week range of $189.51 to $251.01. The consensus price target is $250.17. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 1.6% at $237.75 in early trading indications Friday.