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Survey: Smartphone use for commerce to grow

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Nearly half of U.S. smartphone users say they have already, or soon will, use their phones to do mobile shopping, according to a recent survey conducted by ABI Research, and 53% also use, or intend to use, their smartphones for mobile banking.

“These are very exciting findings for merchants and service providers promoting mobile commerce,” says senior analyst Mark Beccue. “We see mobile commerce in the U.S. finally starting to achieve a mass-market appeal. It’s not just smartphone owners: non-smartphone mobile users’ interest in mobile banking and commerce services, while lower than that among smartphone owners, is also on the rise, with 17% of non-smartphone users surveyed using or intending to use mobile banking services.”

Click here for more on the research, “Consumer Technology Barometer: Mobile (Q3 2010).

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Costco Q1 profit up on improved sales

BY CSA STAFF

Issaquah, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp.’s profit climbed 18% in its first fiscal quarter, buoyed by sales from its consolidated Mexican operations and improved sales and traffic at its U.S. stores. Net income rose to $312 million for the period ended Nov. 21, up from $266 million a year earlier.

The results topped analysts’ average forecasts.

Revenue rose 11% to $19.24 billion from $17.3 billion, also beating Wall Street’s expectation.

The company said same-store sales were up 7%, with international results up 14% and U.S. results rising 5%.

Removing the impact of gasoline sales and strengthening foreign currencies, same-store sales rose 5%. The same figure climbed 10% internationally and 4% in the United States.

Costco does not issue quarterly earnings guidance. The company currently has 582 warehouses, with 425 in the United States and Puerto Rico; 80 in Canada; 22 in the United Kingdom; seven in Korea;, six in Taiwan; nine in Japan; one in Australia; and 32 in Mexico.

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Men’s Wearhouse profit up 31%, but outlook disappoints

BY CSA STAFF

Houston — Men’s Wearhouse said Tuesday that higher sales lifted its third-quarter profit by 31%, but its forecast for the fourth quarter missed Wall Street’s expectations.

Net income rose to $25.3 million in the three months ended Oct. 30, from $19.3 million a year earlier. Revenue increased 19% to $550.1 million, from $462 million in the previous year. Tuxedo rental revenue rose 13% and accounted for more than 20% of the company’s quarterly total. Other clothing sales climbed 22% in the quarter.

The quarterly results easily surpassed the average estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. However, the company forecast an adjusted loss of 19 cents to 22 cents a share for its fiscal fourth quarter, saying that it expects to book higher costs for both employee bonuses and medical benefits due to a higher level of submitted claims.

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