Costco Prepares to Release Q4 Earnings: A Look at Comparable Sales

Costco Stock

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) is gearing up to unveil its fourth-quarter fiscal 2023 results, scheduled for release on September 26 after the closing bell. Once again, investors will be closely monitoring comparable store sales, a pivotal metric for assessing the company’s performance.

Insight into Comparable Sales

Before delving into the fourth quarter of fiscal 2023, let’s take a quick look back at the third quarter.

In the previous reported quarter, Costco’s comparable sales performance displayed a mixed picture across regions. While the United States witnessed a slight decline of 0.1% in comparable sales, Canada experienced a somewhat larger drop of 1%. In contrast, Costco’s performance in Other International locations was robust, with a significant increase of 4.1%. Overall, the company managed to achieve modest growth of 0.3% in comparable sales.

As we shift our focus to the fourth quarter, it’s crucial to consider the various factors influencing Costco’s performance, including consumer spending trends and the ongoing impact of inflation. Costco’s decision to discontinue charter shipping activities aims to leverage lower shipping market rates and pass on savings to its members. Furthermore, strong renewal rates and membership growth are expected to have contributed to sales.

For the quarter at hand, we anticipate an impressive 7.9% surge in net sales and a noteworthy 6.1% rise in total membership fees. Costco’s paid membership base has been steadily increasing, driven by a growing customer base and impressive renewal rates. We also project a 0.7% growth in comparable sales for the fourth quarter.

A customer-centric approach, strategic pricing, merchandise initiatives, and a focus on memberships are likely to have played significant roles in Costco’s overall performance.

How Estimates Are Shaping Up?

The Consensus Estimate for revenues stands at $78.6 million, indicating a 9% increase from the prior-year figure. The consensus estimate for earnings per share has inched up by a penny to $4.72 over the past seven days, suggesting growth of roughly 12.4% compared to the year-ago period.

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About the author: Stephanie Bédard-Châteauneuf has over four years of experience writing financial content for various websites. Over the years, Stephanie has covered various industries, with a primary focus on consumer stocks, cannabis stocks, tech stocks, and personal finance. She has an MBA in finance.