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Originally published December 5, 2013 at 6:35 AM | Page modified December 5, 2013 at 4:46 PM

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Costco's November sales miss Wall Street's forecast

Costco's sales at stores open at least a year rose 2 percent in November, missing Wall Street's expectations for a period that included the critical Black Friday holiday shopping weekend.


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ISSAQUAH, Wash. —

Costco's sales at stores open at least a year rose 2 percent in November, missing Wall Street's expectations for a period that included the critical Black Friday holiday shopping weekend.

The performance was the weakest since September 2009 when the wholesale club operator posted a 1 percent increase.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted a 3.3 percent rise in the metric. Costco shares closed down $2.02, or 1.6 percent, at $120.95 Thursday.

This figure is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed. The results cover the four weeks ended Dec. 1, which included Black Friday this year.

The indicator rose 2 percent in the United States and 1 percent overseas.

Excluding lower gas prices and the stronger dollar, sales at stores open at least a year increased 4 percent in November. The figure climbed 3 percent in the U.S. and rose 6 percent internationally.

Costco Wholesale Corp. said Thursday that total revenue for November climbed 5 percent to $8.78 billion.

For the first quarter ended Nov. 24, the wholesale club operator reported a 3 percent increase in sales at stores open at least a year. The metric also rose 3 percent in the U.S. and edged up 1 percent abroad.

Stripping out lower gas prices and the stronger dollar, sales at stores open at least a year rose 5 percent in the first quarter. The metric increased 4 percent in the U.S. and rose 6 percent overseas.

Total revenue climbed 5 percent to $24.47 billion in the quarter.

Costco currently runs 648 warehouses, including 461 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 87 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, 25 in the U.K., 18 in Japan, 10 in Taiwan, nine in Korea and five in Australia.



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