Higher Fuel Prices Boost Costco Same-Store Sales

Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) reported that for August, comparable-store sales gained 6% year-over-year, and that its total sales increased 8% to $7.4 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had a consensus estimate of same-store sales growth of 4.5% for the month.

The same-store sales figure reflects increases of 7% in the United States and 4% internationally, Costco said. Excluding higher prices for gasoline and the negative effects of foreign-currency translations, the the largest warehouse club operator said August sales in stores open for at least a year increased 6%.

In addition, Costco said it will open a new warehouse in each of Taiwan and Korea this week. The retailer plans to open as many as 15 new warehouses between September 3, the beginning of its fiscal year 2013, and the end of calendar year 2012.

Costco shares are less than 1% shy of the 52-week high of $97.76, and nearly 15% higher year to date. But shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT), which operates the competing Sam's Club warehouse chain, are up more than 20% year to date.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Retail Tagged: COST, WMT