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Costco Q1 net income rises on holiday sales boost

Costco Wholesale Corp.'s fiscal first-quarter net income beat analyst expectations as the retailer recorded some holiday sales in the quarter that were not included in the year-ago quarter, the company reported Dec. 14.

The Issaquah, Wash.-based company said net income attributable to Costco for the 12 weeks ended Nov. 26 was $640 million, beating both the mean consensus estimate of $590.2 million compiled by S&P Capital IQ and the $545 million the company reported for the same quarter in fiscal 2017. The first quarter in fiscal 2018 included pre-Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, a change from how it reported in fiscal year 2017, when sales during that period were booked in the retailer's second quarter.

That shift contributed a boost of about 1.5% to the retailer's net sales, which totaled $31.12 billion, up 13% from the year-ago period overall. Net sales exclude the amount that the retailer collects in customer membership fees.

The first quarter was also one sales day shorter than the year-ago period, the company said in a statement.

Operating income for the company's first quarter was $951 million, above the $849 million from the year-ago period.

Diluted earnings per share were $1.45, beating the S&P Capital IQ consensus estimate for GAAP EPS of $1.34.

Total revenue, including membership fees, for the quarter was $31.81 billion, higher than both the mean consensus estimate of $30.88 billion compiled by S&P Capital IQ and the year-ago result of $28.1 billion.

Including the impacts of foreign exchange and gasoline prices, same-store sales rose 10.5% for the quarter, above the 6.97% consensus mean estimate compiled by S&P Capital IQ.