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Costco 3Q profit rises 46 percent as sales climb

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[May 27, 2010]  ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) -- Costco Wholesale Corp.'s profit climbed 46 percent in the fiscal third quarter as sales and membership revenue both rose.

TheHardware largest U.S. wholesale club operator said Thursday that it earned $306 million, or 68 cents per share. That's up from $210 million, or 48 cents per share, a year ago. Revenue rose 12 percent to $17.78 billion.

Thomson Reuters says analysts expected 66 cents per share and $17.63 billion in revenue for the quarter, which ended May 9.

Revenue from sales rose 12 percent to $17.39 billion, and membership revenue increased 20 percent to $395 million.

The Issaquah, Wash., company said it gained $14 million from a partial reversal of a tax charge. A year ago it paid $34 million to settle a lawsuit.

Costco said revenue from sales at stores open at least a year grew 10 percent. Excluding higher gas prices and changes in currency exchange rates, those sales rose 4 percent. Those sales are considered a key indicator of retailer health because they exclude results from stores that have opened or closed over the past year.

At the end of the quarter, Costco ran 568 warehouses. It has locations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia. Costco said it plans to open five more locations by Aug. 29, the end of its fiscal year.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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