Costco Earnings Beat Estimates. Here’s Why the Stock Is Slipping.

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Shares of retail giant Costco are slipping although the fiscal-third-quarter report was strong. Investors were probably hoping for a better beat.

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Costco Wholesale

stock is edging lower in late trading Thursday, despite the discounter’s better-than-expected fiscal-third-quarter results.

Costco (ticker: COST) earned $1.22 billion, or $2.75 a share, up from $1.89 a share in the year-ago period. Total revenue rose 21.5% to $45.28 billion. Analysts were looking for EPS of $2.38 a share on revenue of $44.71 billion.


Adjusted same-store sales, which strip out fluctuations in gasoline and foreign-exchange rates, rose 15.1% for the quarter, compared with the 17.4% consensus estimate. Adjusted U.S. comparable sales climbed 15.2%, while e-commerce soared 38.2%.

Costco stock is down 0.7% to $385 in after-hours trading. The shares have gained 2.8% year to date, and just over 25% in the latest 12 months.

As Barron’s noted earlier this week, investors were likely already betting on a beat from Costco, given strong results elsewhere in the sector, with both


(WMT) and


(TGT) delivering very upbeat first-quarter reports.

Thus, they may have been hoping for more of a blowout quarter. The company’s position as a value-oriented essential retailer allowed it to thrive during the pandemic, which has led to many months of robust same-store sales growth, although better-than-expected numbers haven’t always translated to gains for the stock.

In March, Costco stock fell after it reported mixed fiscal-second-quarter earnings.

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