Shrinking margins cloud Costco’s profit beat, shares fall


Costco implemented its annual membership fee increase by $5-$60 for Goldstar and business members, and by $10-$120 for executive memberships in the quarter.

Membership fees, which accounted for about 72 percent of Costco’s operating income in 2016, rose 13 percent in the 17-week fourth quarter ended Sept. 3.

Excluding the impact of fuel and currency fluctuations, total comp sales rose 5.7 percent, while analysts at research firm Consensus Metrix expected an increase of 5.1 percent.

Costco’s U.S. comp sales rose 5.8 percent in the quarter.

Net income attributable to Costco rose to $919 million, or $2.08 per share, from $779 million, or $1.77 per share.

Total revenue rose 15.7 percent to $42.30 billion.

Analysts on average had estimated earnings of $2.02 per share and revenue of $41.55 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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