Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST - Analyst Report), which is slated to report its second-quarter fiscal 2013 results on Mar 12, 2013, came up with robust sales for the month of February.
After an increase of 4% in January, Costco’s comparable-store sales for February climbed 6%, reflecting comparable sales growth of 6% at its U.S. locations and 4% at international outlets.
As a whole, Feb 2013 was tough for most retailers as macro-economic factors including increase in fuel and energy costs, higher payroll taxes and delay in tax refunds coupled with unfavorable weather conditions hindered consumer spending and in turn adversely affected the growth and profitability of companies.
Comparable-store sales for companies like Zumiez, Inc. (ZUMZ - Analyst Report), Buckle Inc. (BKE - Snapshot Report) and Ross Stores Inc. (ROST - Analyst Report) witnessed a decline of 8.9%, 1.1% and 1%, respectively.
Costco’s comparable-store sales for the 26-week period ended Mar 3, 2013 rose 6% buoyed by a 6% and 7% jump in comparable-store sales in the U.S. and international locations, respectively.
Excluding the effects of gasoline prices and foreign currency fluctuations, Costco’s comparable-store sales for February rose 6% with U.S. and international comparable-sales elevating 6% and 7%, respectively. For the 26-week period, the company witnessed comparable-store sales growth of 5%, with U.S. and international sales rising 6% and 5%, respectively.
Total net sales for February grew 8% to $7.58 billion from $7.01 billion in the year-ago period. Costco’s sales for the 26-week period increased 9% to $51.35 billion from $47.22 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Concurrently, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company reported net sales of $24.34 billion for the second quarter of fiscal 2013, up 8% year over year. Comparable-store sales for the second quarter rose 5% buoyed by a 5% and 6% jump in comparable-store sales in the U.S. and international locations, respectively.
Excluding the effects of gasoline prices and foreign currency fluctuations, Costco’s comparable-store sales rose 5% with U.S. and international comparable-sales elevating 5% and 4%, respectively.
The company’s differentiated product range enables it to provide an upscale shopping experience to its members, resulting in market share gains and higher sales per square foot. Moreover, the company continues to maintain a healthy membership renewal rate.
Costco also remains committed to opening new clubs in domestic and international markets. The company’s diversification strategy is a natural hedge against risks that may arise in specific markets.
Currently, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the second quarter stands at $1.06 per share, representing an estimated year-over-year increase of about 17.6%.