What Costco's First Month of the Pandemic Looks Like

Chris Lange

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) has been one of the biggest brick-and-mortar beneficiaries of the coronavirus outbreak. As people are practicing social distancing, and some even quarantine, there’s been increased demand for supplies to shelter in place with. Costco, like Walmart, has been a beacon for people looking to stock up and ride out COVID-19.

Costco reported its March numbers late on Wednesday, and not surprisingly the results for the first full month of the pandemic were incredible.

The wholesaler reported net sales of $15.49 billion for the retail month of March, the five weeks ended April 5, 2020, an increase of 11.7% from $13.87 billion last year.

In terms of the comparable sales breakdown:

  • US increased 10.7% year over year, or 12.1% excluding gas prices and forex.
  • Canada increased 1.2%, or 7.2% excluding gas and forex.
  • Other international increased 12.2%, or 19.2% excluding gas and forex.
  • Total company increased 9.6%, or 12.3% excluding gas and forex.
  • E-commerce increased 48.3%, or 49.8% excluding gas and forex.

For the fiscal second quarter, the consensus estimates call for $2.13 in earnings per share (EPS) and $38.37 billion.

Costco stock closed Wednesday at $305.97, in a 52-week range of $233.05 to $325.26. The consensus analyst price target is $323.88. Following the announcement, the stock was down nearly 3% at $297.60 in early trading indications Thursday.