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Costco Q1 Earnings Gain As Comps Advance

The first quarter provided a strong start to the new fiscal year for Costco as comparable store sales and net income both were up year-over-year.

For the quarter ended November 25, net sales gained 10.3% from the period a year before, reaching $34.31 billion. Operating income was $949 million in the first quarter, down from $951 million in the period a year-prior, hit by costs associated with Costco’s Visa card rewards program and wage increases, the company said.

Net income was $767 million, or $1.73 per diluted share, versus $640 million, or $1.45 per diluted share, in the period a year previous.

Comparable sales, without changes in gasoline prices, foreign exchange, and a previously disclosed accounting change concerning revenue recognition, gained 7.5% in the quarter year over year. Comparable store sales in the United States were up 8.3%, up 5.5% in Canada and 5.8% in international operations. E-commerce comps on the same basis gained 26.2%.