COSTCO REPORTS 3RD-QUARTER SALES INCREASE, SOFT EARNINGS

ISSAQUAH, Wash. - Costco here said its third-quarter sales increased by 11% but high gas prices and higher taxes contributed to lower-than-expected profits.Overall sales for the 12-week period, which ended May 7, increased by 11% to $13 billion, with comparable-store sales gains of 7%, compared with year-ago results. Quarterly earnings of $236.5 million, or 49 cents per share, increased by 12.3% but

ISSAQUAH, Wash. - Costco here said its third-quarter sales increased by 11% but high gas prices and higher taxes contributed to lower-than-expected profits.

Overall sales for the 12-week period, which ended May 7, increased by 11% to $13 billion, with comparable-store sales gains of 7%, compared with year-ago results. Quarterly earnings of $236.5 million, or 49 cents per share, increased by 12.3% but were at the low end of the retailer's expectations and a penny below analyst estimate

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