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Costco Q2 profit rises on cheap gasoline

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — Costco Wholesale Corp. posted a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit on Wednesday. Rising gasoline prices had a positive impact on sales at Costco, which prices its fuel below nearby stations.

Net income in the quarter ended Feb. 12 rose 13% to $394 million, from $348 million a year earlier.

Sales rose 10% to $22.51 billion. Same-store sales rose 8%, better than analysts had expected.

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Staples Q4 profit rises 3.2%

BY Marianne Wilson

Framingham, Mass. — Staples Inc. beat Wall Street estimates as its fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose 3.2% to $283.6 million. Weakness in Europe and Australia was offset by the company’s strongest North American retail sales growth in more than a year.

Total company sales rose 0.7% to $6.46 billion, while analysts expected about $6.45 billion. Sales at Staples’ North American delivery segment and domestic retail segment, which together account for about 80% of the company’s revenue, rose 2% to $5.16 billion.

For the full year 2011, total company sales increased 2% to $25.0 billion compared with full year 2010. Net income increased 12% year over year to $985 million

Staples expects a slow growth in the U.S. economy and a soft demand environment in Europe in 2012.

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Costco profit up in Q2

BY CSA STAFF

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco is off to a good start in 2012, with high increases in second-quarter sales and earnings.

The company reported that net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 increased 10% to $22.51 billion, from $20.45 billion last year. Total comparable-store sales for the quarter increased 8%, consisting of an 8% increase at both U.S. and international clubs. Excluding the impact of fuel, comparable-store sales were up 7%, consisting of a 7% increase at U.S. clubs and a 10% increase at international clubs.

Net income for the quarter was $394 million, or 90 cents per diluted share, compared with $348 million, or 79 cents per diluted share, last year.

Costco currently operates 600 warehouses, including 433 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 82 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, 13 in Japan, eight in Taiwan, seven in Korea and three in Australia.

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