July sales edge up, even as Costco disappoints; Gap upbeat on Q2

New York -- Costco Wholesale Corp. fell slightly short of estimates in July even as most other retailers who still report same-store monthly sales outperformed expectations.

The warehouse club giant reported a 5% rise in same-store sales for July, excluding gasoline, falling short of estimates for a 5.7% increase. The company said foreign currencies had a slightly negative impact. It was the first time in five months that Costco's sales have increased less than expected. Costco's total revenue for the month increased 9% to $8.55 billion.

Gap Inc. reported better-than-expected July sales results, and provided an upbeat second-quarter earnings outlook. Same-store sales increased 2%, above analyst expectations of a 0.1% rise. Total sales for the four-weeks ending Aug. 2 rose 5% to $1.17 billion.

L Brands reported a better than expected 6% increase, easily beating estimates for a 1.8% increase. Total revenue rose 6% to $2.68 billion.

In other July results:

• The Buckle said sales edged up 0.5%, slightly better than expected.
• Cato Corporation posted a 4% increase in same-store sales. The chain reported sales of $65.3 million for the four weeks ended August 2, 2014, up 6% from last year.
• Zumiex reported a better-than-expected 3.5% increase in same-store sales.
• Stein Mart posted a 1.3% comparable store sales.

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