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Costco Q4 earnings beat expectations

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Emily McCormick joined Yahoo Finance Live to break down Costco's latest earnings report.

Video Transcript

EMILY MCCORMICK: Adam, we're seeing shares of Costco moving up in after hours trading, the company beating expectations in its fiscal fourth quarter results on both the top and bottom line. And we saw total revenue up 17% over last year to reach $62.68 billion, better than the $61.56 billion expected. And this is for the quarter ended August 29.

Now, those closely watched total company comparable sales excluding fuel and in constant currency were up 9.4%, better than the 8.5% expected. And then if we look at the bottom line results here, earnings per share also a beat at $3.76 versus the $3.55 consensus.

Now, membership fees also above expectations-- those were up 12% over last year, coming in at $1.23 billion, a hair above the $1.2 billion anticipated. And heading into these results, we should note that Costco has, of course, still been reporting monthly sales figures for the month of August. We got those out at the beginning of September, and those had beat expectations for those US comps.

That's a metric that investors are always really closely watching here for this company. Now, Costco didn't give a whole lot of commentary about the quarter in its earnings release this afternoon, although it is holding its earnings conference call at 5:00 PM Eastern tonight. No doubt a lot of the focus is going to be centered on whether Costco has been seeing supply chain constraints, increasing input costs, or labor costs which have been really plaguing a number of companies as we've been talking about over the past couple of months. But at least based on this afternoon's report, really strong results here from Costco, guys.

SEANA SMITH: And, Emily, when it comes-- we knew going into this report the growth outlook was a key point to watch-- EBS pointing it out in its most recent note earlier today. But when it comes to, I guess, the big takeaway from Costco and also what we've heard from a number of retailers, I guess, what did you think that this tells us about consumer spending, and the strength of the consumer, and where things stand today?

EMILY MCCORMICK: Well, I think, Seana, it really is pointing to the fact that the consumer has held up more strongly than anticipated. I mean, this quarter for Costco, as I mentioned, does encapsulate the 16 weeks that ended August 29. So this includes the period when the Delta variant had really started to spread meaningfully across the US in late July and throughout the month of August, and still seeing the strength here in Costco's results.

Of course, part of that could be because of people were staying in place a bit more. They may have been doing more grocery shopping. But if we look again at these membership results here, the company beating expectation on membership fees for its fiscal fourth quarter, suggesting that it has been retaining these users that it's picked up during the pandemic.

So all signs really still pointing to a strong consumer here. Of course, this doesn't include the period, as we've been talking about, September 6-- we had those enhanced federal unemployment benefits expiring at the national level. We'll see in these later reports whether that does impact consumer spending and consumer purchasing power. But for now, at least, seeing a pretty robust consumer, at least based on what Costco is indicating. Guys.