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Why Costco's Shares Tumbled After April Sales Results

After witnessing an increase of 1% in comparable-store sales (comps) for the month of March, Costco Wholesale Corporation COST disappointed investors as it reported flat comps for the month of April, the four-week period ended May 1, 2016, that also fell short of analysts’ expectations. As a result, shares of this Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) company have dropped 3.3% following the announcement of April sales results on May 4. 

Comps for April reflect an increase of 2% at the company’s Canadian locations, offset by a decline of 3% at its Other International locations. Comps at its U.S. locations remained flat.

However, excluding the adverse impact of foreign currency fluctuations and deflation in gasoline prices, Costco’s comps for the month under review rose 3%. The company recorded comparable sales growth of 2%, 7% and 1% across its U.S., Canadian and Other International outlets, respectively.

Costco reported flat comps for the 35-week period ended May 1, 2016, incorporating a 2% increase across its U.S. locations, offset by a 5% 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 5% at the U.S., Canadian and Other International locations, respectively.

On the sales front, the company reported a 3% jump in net sales to $8.98 billion for the four-week period ended May 1, 2016. For the 35-week period, net sales came in at $77.94 billion, reflecting a 2% rise from $76.32 billion generated in the year-ago period.

Costco, which competes with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. WMT, currently operates 705 warehouses, which include 493 in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, 90 in Canada, 36 in Mexico, 27 in the U.K., 25 in Japan, 12 in Korea, 12 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 The TJX Companies, Inc. TJX, both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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WAL-MART STORES (WMT): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
COSTCO WHOLE CP (COST): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
TJX COS INC NEW (TJX): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BURLINGTON STRS (BURL): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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