Costco posts strong August sales


ISSAQUAH, Wash. — Club retailer Costco Wholesale posted sales of $7.4 billion for the month of August, reporting an 8% sales increase over August 2011 and an increase in comps that beat analysts' expectations.

Same-store sales for the chain during the four-week period that ended Sunday increased by 6% over the same period a year ago, reaching the high end of Citi's forecast of 4% to 6% and exceeding Guggenheim Partners' 4% forecast.

Still, Guggenheim analyst John Heinbockel wrote in a report on the results that the retailer's international comps were not as strong, though the company plans to open new stores in Korea and Taiwan. "Costco's August sales remained strong in the United States, with one- and two-year gains, ex-gasoline, at the high end of recent ranges, while international comps, ex-Fx, continued to soften hitting their lowest level since September 2009," Heinbockel wrote.

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