Costco (COST) Reports 1Q Fiscal Year 2012

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) announced today its operating results for the first quarter of fiscal 2012, ended November 20, 2011.

Net sales for the quarter increased 13% to $21.18 billion from $18.82 billion during the first quarter of fiscal 2011. Comparable sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 were 10% in the United States and 11% internationally.

Costco reported net income for the quarter was $320 million, or $.73 per diluted share, compared to $312 million, or $.71 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. First quarter results were negatively impacted by a $24 million charge relating to the settlement of an income tax audit of the Company’s 50% owned Mexico joint venture.The impact on net income attributable to Costco was $12 million, or $.03 per diluted share.

Also negatively impacting this year’s results was a $17 million charge, or $.04 per diluted share, for contributions to the Yes on 1183 Coalition in support of an initiative reforming alcoholic beverage laws in Washington State. (The initiative was approved by a 59% to 41% margin.) These contributions were not tax deductible under U.S. tax laws.

Costco currently operates 596 warehouses, including 433 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 82 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 22 in the United Kingdom, nine in Japan, eight in Taiwan, seven in Korea and three in Australia.

Costco also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at and at in Canada. Costco plans to open two additional warehouses in Japan prior to the end of calendar year 2011.

Shares of Costco were trading at 86.08, down 1.59% at 11:35 am ET today.

written by

Rachel Brook is an up and coming financial writer focusing on commodity price inflation and how the overall market reacts to the price swings. She also covers emerging markets in Africa and SE Asia.
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