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Costco Dips Despite Topping Analyst Estimates

Costco reported fiscal third quarter earnings and sales that came in ahead of estimates.
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Shares of Costco Inc.  (COST)  were falling after hours Thursday despite the company topping analysts third quarter earnings expectations and also reporting same store sales that were ahead of guidance. 

The Issaquah, Washington retailer reported earnings of $2.75 per share on revenue of $44.38 billion. Analysts were expecting the company to report earnings of $2.32 per share on revenue of $43.6 billion. 

Costco shares were falling 0.6% to $385.87 after hours despite the beat. 

Comparable store sales rose 20.6% across the company, topping analyst estimates of 14.7% growth. U.S. comps rose 18.2% while the company's 105 Canada stores saw 32.3% growth in the quarter. 

In April, the company announced net sales of $18.21 billion for March, a 15% year-over-year increase for the month.

"We suspect U.S. trends, similar to others, likely benefited somewhat from recent government stimulus, but it is difficult to quantify precisely," said Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh, who boosted his price target on the group by $30 to $400 a share, of the March numbers. "Costco remains a top pick for us, but we still believe investors should take advantage of weakness vs. chasing strength as a volatile trade likely continues amidst upcoming difficult comparisons."

The company reported a $57 million pretax charge to its $1.2 billion profit primarily from the $2 per hour premium pay it has offered its employees for being on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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