Costco's quarterly profit rises on higher sales in U.S., abroad

May 29, 2014: 7:47 AM ET

Discount-wholesale retailer's results fall short of Wall Street's expectations.

FORTUNE -- Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) posted a 3.1% increase in fiscal third-quarter earnings as the discount-wholesale retailer reported higher sales in the U.S. and in markets abroad.

Though Costco's sales were broadly higher, the growth the retailer reported for the latest period fell slightly under Wall Street's expectations.

Executives at some of the top U.S. retailers have broadly reported disappointing results for their latest quarter, with many blaming severe winter weather for weak store traffic and sales. Costco's executives earlier this year lamented weather was problematic when the company reported its second-quarter results in March. The company didn't address those themes in its prepared statement on Thursday, which only focuses on the retailer's operating results and provides no commentary.

MORE: Weather a popular scapegoat as retailers disappoint

Costco reported same-store sales rose 5% in the U.S. and 3% internationally. Excluding gasoline price deflation and foreign currency exchange, same-store sales rose 6% in the U.S. and leapt 8% abroad. A bulk of the company's 655 warehouses are in the U.S., with stores in several other markets including Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom.

Overall, Costco reported net income of $473 million, or $1.07 a share, up from $459 million, or $1.04 a share, a year ago. Total revenue, which includes membership fees, increased 7.1% to $25.79 billion.

Analysts had expected a profit of $1.10 a share on $25.85 billion in revenue, according to a survey by Bloomberg.

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