ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. on Thursday evening reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations.
The warehouse club operator said its net income for the fourth quarter ended August 29 totaled $1.67 billion, or $3.76 per diluted share. That compared to $1.39 billion, or $3.13, last year. Wall Street had been expecting earnings per share of $3.58 for this year’s fourth quarter. Net income for the fiscal year was $5.01 billion, or $11.27 per diluted share, compared to $4.00 billion, or $9.02 per diluted share in the prior year.
Net sales for the quarter increased 17.5%, to $61.44 billion from $52.28 billion last year. Net sales for the fiscal year increased 17.7%, to $192.05 billion from $163.22 billion last year. Comparable club sales for the total company increased 15.5%, or 9.4% when the impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange rates are excluded. E-commerce sales rose 11.2% during the quarter. For the full year, comparable club sales rose 16.0% (13.4% adjusted), and e-commerce sales increased 44.4%.
Costco currently operates 817 warehouse clubs, including 565 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 105 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, 30 in Japan, 29 in the United Kingdom, 16 in Korea, 14 in Taiwan, 13 in Australia, three in Spain, and one each in Iceland, France, and China.
In a conference call on the fourth-quarter results, Costco chief financial officer Richard Galanti noted that the company added 20 net new warehouse clubs in fiscal 2021.
“This year, we’re looking to open at least 25 net new units, including second warehouses in each of China and France, and our first location in New Zealand,” Galanti said. “As well, we plan to relocate five locations.”