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Costco Same-Store Sales Rose More Than Expected in June (COST)

Costco Wholesale Corporation’s (NASDAQ: COST) same-store sales rose more-than-expected in June. The discount retailer said that sales for the five week period ended July 7 rose 6% (after including the impact of rise in fuel prices and foreign exchange fluctuations).  The Wall Street’s analysts had a consensus forecast for 5.4% growth in same-store-sales, according to a data compiled by Thomson Reuters.

Same-store-sales increased 8 percent in international markets when effects of these factors were removed.

Shares gained about 1.10% in early trade.

In a statement released on Thursday, Costco said that higher gasoline prices helped offsetting the negative impact of wide fluctuations in the foreign exchange market.

Same-store-sales, is an important metric to evaluate a retail chain’s performance as it only takes into account sales from those stores which were operational for at least 12 month; thus providing an accurate picture on the sales trend. In other words, sales from stores that were shuttered or opened less than 12 months ago are not considered as sales trends from such stores are typically volatile.

The Issaquah, Washington-based Company, which competes with the likes of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s (NYSE: WMT) Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc., sells limited collection of branded and selected private-label brands in a range of merchandise categories at prices which are much below than supermarkets’ prices.

Earlier on Tuesday, equity research analysts at Jefferies Group reiterated “hold” rating on the stock. The firm currently has a price target of $101.00.

A day before, analysts at Deutsche Bank reaffirmed a “buy” rating on the stock and set a price target of $120.00.

On June 20th, analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein restated its “market-perform” rating on the stock and assigned a price target of $115.00.

In all, seven equity research analysts have assigned a “buy” rating while three analysts keep a “hold” rating on the stick. On average, the stock has a “buy” rating and a price target of $108.56.


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