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Costco’s quarterly sales rise 6% to top $57 billion

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Costco Wholesale Corp. shares edged higher in the extended session Thursday after the retail giant reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue that were in line with expectations.

Costco
COST,
-1.75%

earned $1.59 billion, or $3.58 a share, in the quarter, compared with $1.36 billion, or $3.07 a share, in the year-ago period. Quarterly results included a tax benefit of $44 million, or 10 cents a share, related to stock-based compensation, the company said.

Total revenue rose 6.1% to $57.80 billion, from $54.44 billion a year ago, and was the highest for a fiscal first quarter in at least three years.

Same-store sales for the quarter rose 3.8%, with e-commerce sales up 6.3% in the quarter. Same-store sales were also within consensus.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected the retailer to report adjusted earnings of $3.41 a share on sales of $57.79 billion.

Thursday’s release did not include any news on a potential membership-fee increase at Costco, which a company executive said in September was coming.

Costco also said that its board has declared a special cash dividend of $15 a share, payable Jan. 12 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 28. The aggregate amount of the payment will be about $6.7 billion, Costco said.

Shares of Costco have gained 38% so far this year, compared with an advance of around 23% for the S&P 500 index
SPX.

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