Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) reported stronger-than-expected earnings and revenues for the second quarter of 2020. The market responded positively to the results and shares of the warehouse club operator gained Thursday evening, immediately after the announcement.
The report came at a time when markets across the globe have been hit by disruptions caused by the coronavirus outbreak, with the majority of industries experiencing a high level of volatility. At the post-earnings conference call, Costco executives are expected to discuss the epidemic situation in detail.
Comps up 9%
The solid second-quarter performance reflected a 9% increase in comparable store sales, which marked an improvement from the year-ago period. At $38.26 billion, net sales were up 10.5% year-over-year and slightly above the consensus forecast. Total revenues advanced 10%. There was a 28.4% increase in e-commerce sales.
In the month of February, sales benefited from an increase in demand as households rushed to stock-up on essential items due to concerns over the coronavirus. Overall, sales were positively influenced by the favorable timing of the Thanksgiving Day, which occurred one week later this year.
As a result, net income rose to $931 million or $2.10 per share from $889 million or $2.01 per share in the second quarter of 2019. Analysts had predicted a slower growth. The company has an impressive track record of beating estimates.
Analysts, in general, have been cautious in their outlook on Costco, in view of the volatile market conditions and the potential impact on the company’s supply chain.
Earlier, BJ’s Wholesale Club Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: BJ) reported earnings of $0.40 per share for the fourth quarter, which matched analysts’ forecast. Sales rose 2% to $3.4 billion but missed the Street view.
Costco’s shares closed Thursday’s regular session sharply lower but bounced back during extended trading. Last month, the stock suffered a sharp fall and slipped to a six-month low. However, it pared the losses in the following days.
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