Costco Hits All-Time High on Strong Earnings

Michael Teague |

Costco Hits All-Time High on Strong EarningsDuring Tuesday’s trading, shares of Costco (COST) hit its all-time high in intraday trading, up 2.3 percent to as high as $105.52. The news comes at a time when the company’s peers in the brick-and-mortar discount retail business are seeing a slump amidst a lack of consumer confidence largely credited to the payroll tax-hike and steadily climbing gas prices. The discount chain managed to impress investors by increasing sales, outperforming competitors such as  Wal-Mart (WMT), Target (TGT), and Best Buy (BBY).

The company’s second quarter’s earnings were way up 38 percent to $547 million or $1.24 per share, leaps and bounds past both the forecast of $1.06 per share, and last year’s earnings during the same period of $394 million or $0.90 per share.

The company currently runs 662 warehouses, 448 of them in the U.S., but also in Mexico, the U.K., Canada, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Puerto Rico, and Australia, with plans to open 14 more by September of 2013.

Much of the good news for Costco is the result of a 15 percent hike in membership fees to $528 million, while nets sales were up 8 percent to $24.34 billion.

The company is doing so well that last month it was even able to agree with its unions to a 9 percent wage increase for employees. To give some idea of what this means, the raise translates to an average hourly rate for clerks of $22.87, on top of bonus payouts of up to $4000 every six months.

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Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
WMT Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 70.08 -0.26 -0.37 10,756,553
TGT Target Corporation 77.39 -0.45 -0.58 4,047,724
AMG Affiliated Managers Group Inc. 161.11 -0.27 -0.17 477,505
COST Costco Wholesale Corporation 159.70 2.11 1.34 2,615,188
BBY Best Buy Co. Inc. 49.00 -0.31 -0.63 4,294,387

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