Costco's Profits Up Big

This matches what we've been hearing a lot lately. Grocery stores, discounters and warehouse clubs are cleaning up in the current economic environment as consumers continue to be extremely price-conscious.

Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 32 per cent jump in third-quarter profits Thursday to top Wall Street expectations, as cash-squeezed customers flocked to its warehouse clubs in search of bargains on food and toiletries.

Costco reported net income rose to $295.1-million (U.S.), or 67 cents per share, from $224-million, or 49 cents per share, a year ago, which included a $30.3-million charge.

Sales increased 13 per cent to $16.26-billion from $14.34-billion in a year-ago period hurt by a $228.2-million boost in sales returns reserves. Including membership fees, revenue rose to $16.61-billion from $14.66-billion.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had expected profit of 65 cents per share on revenue of $16.35-billion.


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