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Originally published February 7, 2013 at 3:39 AM | Page modified February 7, 2013 at 8:00 AM

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Costco's January sales top forecasts

Costco's revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 4 percent in January, narrowly beating Wall Street's expectations.

The Associated Press

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ISSAQUAH, Wash. —

Costco's revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 4 percent in January, narrowly beating Wall Street's expectations.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters forecast a 3.9 percent increase.

Revenue at stores open at least a year is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

Costco Wholesale Corp. said Thursday that the metric rose 3 percent for the U.S. and 5 percent internationally.

Stripping out the effects of gas prices and stronger foreign currencies, revenue at stores open at least a year still increased 4 percent. For the U.S., the figure climbed 4 percent as well. It rose 3 percent overseas.

Total revenue for the five week period ended Feb. 3 increased 7 percent to $9.35 billion.

The Issaquah, Wash. company said that there was one less day in the current period when compared with a year due to the timing of the New Year's holiday. This hurt Costco's total revenue and revenue at stores open at least a year by about 2 percent.

Fiscal year-to-date revenue at stores open at least a year climbed 6 percent. The metric also rose 6 percent in the U.S. International results climbed by 7 percent.

Removing the effects of gas prices and stronger foreign currencies, revenue at stores open at least a year increased 5 percent. International results also rose 5 percent. In the U.S., the figure climbed 6 percent.

Total revenue for the 22 weeks ended Feb. 3 climbed 9 percent to $43.77 billion.

Costco expects to report its second-quarter financial results on March 12.

It currently runs 622 warehouses, including 448 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 85 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 23 in the U.K., 13 in Japan, nine in Taiwan, nine in Korea and three in Australia. The company plans to open up to an additional 14 new warehouses before the end of its fiscal year on Sept. 1.

Costco shares ended at $101.70 on Wednesday. That is closer to the high end of their 52-week range of $81.98 to $105.97.

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