The company said the first four-week period of the quarter represented the majority of earnings under performance.Costco's sales growth has slowed recently, in contrast to other discount clubs, which have been a bright spot in retail as shoppers seeking to save money by buying in bulk.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., for example, in January offered a weaker-than-expected forecast for its recently started fiscal year and current quarter, as the world's biggest retailer warned a variety of economic factors will continue to weigh on its outlook, including reductions in government benefits, higher taxes, tighter credit and increased group health-care costs in the U.S.
For the quarter ended February 16, Costco reported a profit of $463 million, or $1.05 a share, compared with $547 million, or $1.24 a share, a year earlier. The year-earlier quarter included a tax benefit of 14 cents a share.
Total revenue rose 6% to $26.3 billion.Analysts expected earnings of $1.17 a share and revenue of $26.65 billion.Revenue from membership fees rose 4.1% to $550 million, while merchandise costs were up/down 5.8% at $23 million.
Total same-store sales were up 5% for the period, excluding currency fluctuations. Same-store sales increased 4% in the U.S. and 5% internationally, also excluding currency changes.