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Costco Sustains Decent Comps Run With 4.2% Rise in September

Zacks Equity Research

Costco Wholesale Corporation COST reported decent comparable sales (comps) number for the month of September, in spite of operating in a competitive retail landscape. Certainly, better price management, strong membership trends and increasing penetration of e-commerce business have been playing a crucial role behind the healthy comps run.

The operator of membership warehouses highlighted that comps for the month of September rose 4.2%, following an increase of 5.5% in August, 5.6% in July, 5.4% in June and 4.2% in May. Comps for September reflect an increase of 5% in the United States, 1.2% in Canada and 3% in Other International locations.

Excluding the impact of foreign currency fluctuations and changes in gasoline prices, comps for the month under review rose 5.6%, while the same advanced 5.7%, 4.5% and 5.9% in the United States, Canada and Other International locations, respectively.

Meanwhile, net sales improved 5.6% to $14.41 billion in the month under review, following an increase of 6.9%, 7.9%, 7.5% and 5.9% in August, July, June and May, respectively.

Costco is also steadily expanding e-commerce capabilities in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Korea and Taiwan. E-commerce comparable sales increased 17.8% in the month of September, following an increase of 23.9%, 21.3%, 15.7% and 20.2%, in the months of August, July, June and May, respectively.

Costco, which shares space with Walmart WMT, Target TGT and Ross Stores ROST, continues to be one of the dominant warehouse retailers based on the breadth and quality of merchandise offered. In fact, its strategy of selling products at heavily discounted prices has helped it to remain on growth trajectory. In the past six months, shares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have increased 23.1% outperforming the industry’s growth of 17.8%.

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