Costco Earnings Surge on Higher Sales, Fees

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ISSAQUAH, Wash. -- Costco's fiscal third-quarter net income climbed 19 percent, bolstered by increased sales and more money from membership fees.

For the three months ended May 12, the wholesale club operator earned $459 million, or $1.04 a share. That's up from $386 million, or 88 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had predicted earnings of $1.02 a share, according to FactSet.

Revenue for the company, based in Issaquah, Wash., rose 8 percent to $24.08 billion from $22.32 billion. Wall Street predicted $24.09 billion.

Revenue from membership fees, which account for much of Costco's profit, increased to $531 million from $475 million.

Revenue from stores open at least a year, a key gauge of a retailer's health, climbed 5 percent. This figure excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

In the U.S., the metric increased 6 percent. It rose 4 percent overseas.

Excluding changes in gas prices and foreign exchange rates, revenue at stores open at least a year increased 7 percent. It also rose 7 percent in the U.S. and internationally.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) currently runs 627 warehouses, including 449 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 85 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, 24 in the U.K., 15 in Japan, nine in Taiwan, nine in Korea and three in Australia.

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