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Originally published May 8, 2014 at 6:34 AM | Page modified May 9, 2014 at 6:41 AM

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Costco’s April sales growth beats forecasts

The Issaquah company's sales at stores open at least a year climbed 5 percent in April.


The Associated Press

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Costco said Thursday that its sales at stores open at least a year climbed 5 percent in April, beating Wall Street’s estimate.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast a 3.2 percent rise.

This figure is a key indicator of a retailer’s health. It excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

The news gave Costco’s stock a boost, pushing it up $2.75, or 2.5 percent, to close at $114.73.

In the U.S. the metric increased 5 percent. It rose 2 percent overseas.

Removing higher gas prices and foreign currency fluctuation, sales at stores open at least a year still climbed 5 percent for the total company and for U.S. locations. Internationally, the figure increased 7 percent.

Total revenue for the four weeks ended May 4 rose 7 percent to $8.56 billion.

Issaquah-based Costco said there was one less selling day in the period which accounts for a shift in the timing of Easter. The wholesale club operator said the later Easter this year hurt its total revenue and same-store sales by 1.5 percent to 2 percent.

For the year to date, the company said that sales at stores open at least a year rose 3 percent. The metric rose 4 percent in the U.S. and edged up 1 percent abroad.

Excluding higher gas prices and foreign currency fluctuation, sales at stores open at least a year increased 5 percent. It rose 5 percent in the U.S. and rose 7 percent overseas.

Total revenue for the year to date increased 6 percent to $73.21 billion.

Costco expects to report its fiscal third-quarter financial results on May 29. The company currently runs 652 warehouses, including 463 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 87 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, 25 in the U.K., 19 in Japan, 10 in Taiwan, 10 in Korea and five in Australia.



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