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Costco (COST) Posts Flat Comps in August; Sales Up

Costco Wholesale Corporation COST reported flat comparable-store sales (comps) for the month of August (the four weeks ended Aug 28, 2016) following a 2% decline in July and flat comps in June. Comps for August reflect flat comps for the company’s U.S. and Other International locations and a 4% increase across the Canadian locations.

However, excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations and deflation in gasoline prices, Costco’s comps for the month under review rose 2%. The company recorded comps growth of 2% and 4% across its U.S. and Canadian locations, respectively, while it witnessed flat comps at Other International outlets.

Costco reported flat comps for the 16-week period ended Aug 28, 2016. The company witnessed a flat and a 2% increase in comps across its U.S. and Canadian locations, offset by a 2% decline at its Other International locations. Excluding the effect of gasoline prices and foreign currency fluctuations, comps for the period jumped 3%, exhibiting an improvement of 2%, 5% and 1% at the U.S., Canadian and Other International locations, respectively.

On the sales front, the company reported a 2% jump in net sales to $8.9 billion for the four-week period ended Aug 28, 2016. For the 16-week period, net sales came in at $35.7 billion, reflecting a 2% rise from $35 billion generated in the year-ago period.

Costco, which competes with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, currently operates 715 warehouses, which include 501 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 91 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 28 in the U.K., 25 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 12 in Taiwan, 8 in Australia, and 2 in Spain. The company plans to open about 10 new warehouses, including a relocation, before the end of this calendar year.

Zacks Rank

Costco carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other favorably ranked retail stocks that appear promising include Burlington Stores, Inc. BURL sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Big Lots Inc. BIG carrying a Zacks Rank #2.

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