Did Analysts Overshoot Costco Earnings?

When Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) reported its fiscal second-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday, the retailer said that it had $1.89 in earnings per share (EPS) and $37.27 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates had called for $2.04 in EPS and $37.52 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $1.89 in EPS and $34.74 billion in revenue.

Note that earnings were negatively affected by $283 million pretax, or $0.47 per diluted share, charge from incremental wage and sanitation costs related to COVID-19.

During the latest quarter, net sales increased 7.3% year over year, while membership fees increased 5.0%.

Comparable sales increased 4.8% on a companywide basis, driven by:

  • U.S. comparable sales increasing by 5.9%
  • Canada comparable sales decreasing 2.5%
  • Other international comparable sales increasing 6.2%
  • E-commerce sales increasing by 64.5%

Costco currently operates 787 warehouses, including 547 in the United States, 100 in Canada and 39 in Mexico. The remainder are located in the United Kingdom, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, Spain, France, Iceland and China.

Costco Wholesale stock closed Thursday at $309.56, in a 52-week range of $233.05 to $325.26. Following the announcement, the stock was down about 2% at $309.56 in early trading indications Friday.