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Costco sales increase 10% in Q1

BY Alaric DeArment

ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Growth in sales and membership income at Costco helped the company produce earnings per share of 95 cents and beat analysts’ estimates by 2 cents.

Sales for the company’s first quarter ended November 25, increased 10% to $23.2 billion from $21.2 billion and profits increased 30% to $416 million, or 95 cents a share, from $320 million, or 73 cents a share. The profit performance benefited from the inclusion of charges totaling $29 million, or 7 cents a share, in the prior year reporting period. On an adjusted basis excluding those charges from the prior year, profits increased a slightly less impressive 19.2%.

Same store sales increased 6% domestically and 7% internationally, excluding fuel sales and foreign exchange effects.

Membership trends remain solid as fee income advanced 14.3% to $511 million from $447 million the prior year.

The company ended the quarter with cash, cash equivalents and short term investments totaling $5.6 billion, nearly a 15% increase from $4.8 billion at the end of the comparable period the prior year. Costco will expend a large portion of those resources in the coming weeks as it plans to pay a special dividend of $7 a share to help investors avoid an imminent tax increase on dividends. In total, Costco will pay out roughly $3 billion before year end and plans to issue new debt to finance the move.

Costco ended the period with 621 warehouses worldwide, consisting of 448 clubs in the United States and Puerto Rico, 85 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 23 in the United Kingdom, 13 in Japan, nine in Taiwan, eight in Korea, and three in Australia.

 

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Suspended insurance coverage drives OTC utilization

BY Michael Johnsen

Insurance coverage is a significant factor that is driving increased OTC utilization — 67% of respondents switched to an OTC once insurance coverage was suspended for a prescription formulation. According to an online survey of more than 900 AccentHealth viewers conducted in September, one-third of consumers reported insurance stopped covering a prescription once an OTC equivalent was available.

To see more Patient Views, click here.

Patient Views is a new, exclusive consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN magazine, as well as the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M. If you could ask 4,000 patients anything at all, what would it be? Send your questions to [email protected].

Source: AccentHealth. To view the demographic breakdown of participants, click here.

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Wisconsin Pharmacal and Coleman introduce personalized first aid tins

BY Jason Owen

JACKSON, Wis. — Wisconsin Pharmacal, in an exclusive licensing partnership with the Coleman Co., has introduced unique, individualized first aid tins. Each tin contains commonly used first aid components including bandages, antibiotic ointment, antiseptic wipes and more, and comes packaged in a nostalgic, brushed-metal tin case with an embossed first aid cross adorning the lid.

"Our new Coleman first aid tins are a fresh approach to first aid," said Andy Wundrock, senior VP of sales and marketing for Wisconsin Pharmacal Company. "The novelty of the tin case is a real draw to consumers. That, combined with their convenient size, all-purpose contents and low price points make them a great buy for everyone, not just the serious outdoorsman."

That "convenient" size is uniquely packaged in 4 pocket-sized varieties — Personal Survival, All Purpose, Outdoor Essentials, and Fishing — none exceeding 3×5 in. The smallest tins contain 24 essential pieces while the largest includes 74 pieces. The tins carry a suggested retail price of $4.99 to $6.99. You can find out more by visiting www.ColemanFirstAid.com.

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