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Can Costco Keep Up Its Scorching Growth? Wall Street Waits Eagerly For Earnings

Costco is scheduled to report its fiscal 2022 first quarter results after the closing bell Thursday.
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Costco Earnings

Big box retailer Costco  (COST) - Get Costco Wholesale Corporation Report is scheduled to report its fiscal year 2022 first quarter results after the closing bell on Thursday, and investors and analysts are looking to see if the company can keep up its scorching growth trajectory. 

Unlike most companies, Costco has seen its profits increase sharply during the pandemic, as buying in bulk became more popular. 

Analysts are expecting first quarter earnings of $2.62 per share on revenue of $49.7 billion. A year ago, the company reported a profit of $2.29 per share on revenue of $43.2 billion.

Costco does not report subscription numbers in its earnings release, so if investors want to hear about the nitty gritty of the wholesalers business, the earnings call is the way to go. 

In September, the company said that membership fee income for the fourth quarter was $1.234 billion, up $128 million from the same period a year ago. 

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Costco's Dividend History

Investors will also be paying attention to the company's equity returns after the company in October declared a quarterly cash dividend of 79 cents per share, paid Nov. 12. 

So far this fiscal year, Costco has paid out $3.07 per share in dividends, a fraction of the $12.75 per share the company paid last year. That total included a special cash dividend of $10 per share that the company paid in December last year. 

The special dividend was the company's fourth in the last eight years. 

"Our strong balance sheet allows us to pay this dividend, while preserving financial and operational flexibility to continue to grow our business globally," CFO Richard Galanti said. 

Costco shares were down 2.3% to $529.60 per share at last check Wednesday afternoon.