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Costco (COST) Registers Comparable Sales Growth in March

After witnessing flat comparable-store sales (comps) during the first two months of the year, Costco Wholesale Corporation COST witnessed a 1% increase in comps for the month of March (the five weeks ended Apr 3, 2016). Comps for March reflect an increase of 1% and 3% at the company’s U.S. and Canadian locations, respectively, offset by a decline of 1% at its Other International locations.

However, excluding the adverse impact of foreign currency fluctuations and deflation in gasoline prices, Costco’s comps for the month under review rose 4%. The company recorded comparable sales growth of 3%, 9% and 5% across its U.S., Canadian and Other International outlets, respectively.

Costco reported flat comps for the 31-week period ended Apr 3, 2016, incorporating a 2% increase across its U.S. locations, offset by a 6% decline at its Canadian locations and a 4% drop at Other International locations. Excluding the effect of gasoline prices and foreign currency fluctuations, comps for the period jumped 5%, reflecting an improvement of 4%, 9% and 6% at the U.S., Canadian and Other International locations, respectively.

On the sales front, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company reported a 3% jump in net sales to $10.71 billion for the five-week period ended Apr 3, 2016. For the 31-week period, net sales came in at $68.96 billion, reflecting a 2% rise from $67.59 billion generated in the year-ago period.

Costco, which competes with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, currently operates 702 warehouses, which include 492 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 90 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 27 in the U.K., 24 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 11 in Taiwan, 8 in Australia, and 2 in Spain.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked retail stocks that appear promising include Burlington Stores, Inc. BURL and Dollar General Corporation DG, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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WAL-MART STORES (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
DOLLAR GENERAL (DG): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
COSTCO WHOLE CP (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BURLINGTON STRS (BURL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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