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Costco Q1 sales rise 6% to $57B

But still no word on membership fee increases

Costco Wholesale posted higher profit in its fiscal first-quarter, with same-store sales holding fast for the warehouse retail giant.

The earnings release did not make mention of a much-anticipated membership-fee increase, which so far Costco has said is just a matter of time. The retailer last raised its membership, which starts at $60 a year, in 2017.

For the first quarter, the company reported net sales of $56.72 billion, an increase of 6.1% from $53.44 billion for the first quarter of fiscal year 2023, ending November 20, 2022.

Net income for the quarter was $1.6 million, $3.58 per diluted share, compared to $1,364 million, $3.07 per diluted share, last year. 

This year’s results included a tax benefit of $44 million, $0.10 per diluted share, related to stock-based compensation. Last year’s results included a charge of $93 million pre-tax, $0.15 per diluted share, primarily related to downsizing our charter shipping activities, and a tax benefit of $53 million, $0.12 per diluted share, related to stock-based compensation.

Costco also announced that its board of directors has declared a special cash dividend on Costco common stock of $15 per share, payable January 12, 2024, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 28, 2023. The aggregate amount of the payment will be approximately $6.7 billion.

Costco currently operates 871 warehouses, including 600 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 108 in Canada, 40 in Mexico, 33 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 18 in Korea, 15 in Australia, 14 in Taiwan, five in China, four in Spain, two in France, and one each in Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia.

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