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Costco Q4 profit tops Street

BY Marianne Wilson

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a higher-than-expected profit for the fourth quarter.

In related news, shoppers opened 730,000 new credit card accounts since the Visa cards went live in June, Costco executives said on a conference call with analysts. (In June, Costco ended its longstanding relationship with American Express and switched to Visa.)

Net income rose to $779 million, or $1.77 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Aug. 28, from $767 million, or $1.73 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales for the fourth quarter rose 2% to $35.73 billion, just short of estimates. Total revenue, including membership fees, came in at $36.6 million.

Costco reported a 1% drop in same-store U.S. sales for the quarter. Excluding the impact of fuel and currency fluctuations, sales at U.S. comparable stores rose 2%.

The company said it plans to open nine new warehouses before the end of the year.

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