Fitness financials: Costco's Q4 profit drops - SNEWS

Fitness financials: Costco's Q4 profit drops

Costco said its fourth-quarter profit fell 6 percent, affected partly by the stronger dollar and increased employee benefit costs.
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Costco's Q4 profit drops

Costco (Nasdaq: COST) said its fourth-quarter profit fell 6 percent, affected partly by the stronger dollar and increased employee benefit costs.

For the quarter ended Aug. 30, it earned $374 million, or $0.85 per share, compared to $398 million, or $0.90 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue slipped 3 percent to $22.38 billion from $23.1 billion.

Same-store sales dropped 5 percent in the quarter, with a 6-percent decline in the United States and a 3-percent drop internationally. Costco said sales at stores open at least a year edged up 1 percent when the effect of the stronger dollar and lower gas prices is taken out of the equation.

For the year, net income slipped 15 percent to $1.09 billion, or $2.47 per share, compared with $1.28 billion, or $2.89 per share. Annual sales dipped 2 percent to $71.42 billion from $72.48 billion.

Monthly results fared better than those of the quarter, with September same-store sales up 1 percent, primarily on a 6-percent increase internationally. In the United States, the figure dipped 1 percent. Excluding lower gas prices and the stronger dollar, same-store sales rose 4 percent in September on 9 percent growth internationally and 3 percent in the United States.

--Compiled by Wendy Geister

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