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Costco Wholesale August Comps, Sales Decline

Membership warehouses operator Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) on Wednesday reported a 1 percent decline in net sales for the month of August from the same period last year.

Comparable sales for the month decreased 2 percent, while it grew 5 percent after excluding the negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange.

The Issaquah, Washington-based company reported net sales of $8.7 billion for the four weeks ended August 30 2015, down 1 percent from $8.8 billion in the same month last year.

Total company comparable sales for the month of August decreased 2 percent, reflecting a 1 percent increase in the U.S. comparable sales and an 11 percent decrease in international comparable sales.

Excluding the negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange, total company comparable sales for the month rose 5 percent, with 5 percent growth in the U.S. and 7 percent increase in the International business.

However, for the fourth quarter, Costco's net sales rose 1 percent to $35.0 billion from $34.8 billion in the prior-year quarter.

Total company comparable sales for the quarter declined 1 percent, with 2 percent growth in the U.S., while International comparable sales decreased 9 percent.

Excluding the negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange, total company comparable sales for the fourth quarter grew 6 percent, with 6 percent growth in the U.S. and 7 percent increase in the International business.

For the 52-week fiscal year ended August 30, 2015, Costco's net sales rose 3 percent to $113.7 billion from $110.2 billion in the prior year.

Total company comparable sales for the year increased 1 percent, with 3 percent growth in the U.S., while International comparable sales decreased 4 percent.

Excluding the negative impacts from gasoline price deflation and foreign exchange, total company comparable sales for the year rose 7 percent, with 6 percent growth in the U.S. and 7 percent increase in the International business.

Costco plans to release its operating results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2015 on September 29, 2015.

Costco currently operates 686 warehouses, including 480 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 89 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 27 in the U.K., 23 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 11 in Taiwan, seven in Australia and one in Spain.

The company said it plans to open up to an additional 14 new warehouses, including two relocations, prior to the end of calendar year 2015.

COST closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $140.42, up $2.12 or 1.53 percent on a volume of 1.81 million shares. However, in after-hours, the stock declined $0.42 or 0.30 percent to $140.00.

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