ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. on Thursday reported strong sales and earnings that topped analyst expectations.
Net sales for the 12-week quarter ended May 9 increased 21.7%, to $44.38 billion, from $36.45 billion last year. Net sales for the first 36 weeks grew 17.7%, to $130.61 billion, from $110.94 billion last year.
Comparable store sales for the third quarter increased 18.2% in the U.S. (15.2% adjusted to exclude the effects of changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange rates), and 20.6% (or 15.1% adjusted) for the total company. E-commerce sales in the quarter increased by 41.2% (or 38.2% adjusted).
Net income for the quarter was $1.22 billion, which included $57 million pretax in COVID-19 related costs. The company said the biggest component of that cost increase was the $2 per hour pay premium it paid to employees during the pandemic. Last year’s third-quarter net income was $838 million, which included $283 million pretax in COVID-related costs. Net income for the first 36 weeks was $3.34 billion, or $7.51 per diluted share, compared to $2.61 billion, or $5.89 per diluted share, last year.
Costco finished the quarter with 809 warehouse clubs, including 559 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 105 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, 29 in the United Kingdom, 29 in Japan, 16 in Korea, 14 in Taiwan, 12 in Australia, three in Spain, and one each in Iceland, France, and China. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.