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News Release

Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports First Quarter Fiscal 2000 Operating Results And Announces Upcoming 2-For-1 Stock Split

ISSAQUAH, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 9, 1999--Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:COST) announced today its operating results for the first quarter of fiscal 2000, the 12 weeks ended November 21, 1999.

Sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2000 increased 16% to $6.82 billion from $5.89 billion during the first quarter of fiscal 1999. On a comparable warehouse basis, that is warehouses open at least a year, net sales increased by 13%.

Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2000 was $129.3 million, or $.56 per diluted share. Excluding the impact of a one-time accounting charge taken in last year's first quarter, net income for the first quarter of fiscal 1999 was $104.2 million, or $.46 per diluted share, resulting in year-over-year earnings and earnings per share increases of 24% and 22%, respectively. In last year's first quarter, the Company recorded a $118 million non-cash, after-tax charge, reflecting the cumulative effect of the Company's change in accounting for membership fees from a cash to a deferred method, whereby membership fee income is recognized ratably over the one-year life of the membership. Including this one-time charge, the Company last year reported a loss of $13.8 million or $.05 per diluted share for the first quarter of fiscal 1999.

The Company also announced today that its Board of Directors approved a 2-for-1 split of its common stock. Shareholders will receive one additional share of common stock for every share held on the record date of December 24, 1999. Additional shares will be mailed or delivered on or about January 13, 2000, by the Company's transfer agent, ChaseMellon Shareholder Services. The common stock will begin trading at a post-split price on January 14, 2000.

Costco currently operates 302 warehouses, including 230 in the United States, 59 in Canada, seven in the United Kingdom, three in Korea, two in Taiwan and a warehouse in Japan. The Company also operates 17 warehouses in Mexico with a joint venture partner. The Company plans to open an additional 15 to 20 new warehouses (including four to six relocations of existing warehouses to larger and better-located facilities) prior to the end of its fiscal year 2000 on September 3, 2000. -0-

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                     COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION

              CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
             (dollars in thousands, except per share data)
                              (unaudited)

                                                12 Weeks Ended
                                           -------------------------
                                           November 21, November 22,
                                                 1999         1998
                                            ----------- ------------

REVENUE
Net sales                                   $ 6,824,197  $ 5,894,238
Membership fees and other                       119,315      103,840
                                            -----------  -----------
   Total revenue                              6,943,512    5,998,078
OPERATING EXPENSES
Merchandise costs                             6,120,201    5,287,785
Selling, general and administrative             596,717      518,990
Preopening expenses                              10,334       10,707
Provision for impaired assets
 and warehouse closing costs                      1,000        2,000
                                            -----------  -----------
   Operating income                             215,260      178,596
OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE)
Interest expense                                (10,397)     (10,912)
Interest income and other                        10,667        6,039
                                            -----------  -----------
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES AND
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF ACCOUNTING CHANGE
                                                215,530      173,723
Provision for income taxes                       86,212       69,489
                                            -----------  -----------
INCOME BEFORE CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF
 ACCOUNTING CHANGE
                                                129,318      104,234
Cumulative effect of accounting change,
 net of tax                                        --       (118,023)
                                            -----------  -----------
NET INCOME (LOSS)                           $   129,318  $   (13,789)
                                            ===========  ===========

NET INCOME (LOSS) PER COMMON SHARE:
   Basic earnings per share:
     Income before cumulative effect
       of accounting change                 $       .58  $       .48
     Cumulative effect of accounting
       change, net of tax                          --           (.54)
                                            -----------  -----------
      Net Income (loss)                     $       .58  $      (.06)
                                            ===========  ===========

   Diluted earnings per share:
     Income before cumulative effect
      of accounting change                  $       .56  $       .46
     Cumulative effect of accounting
      change, net of tax                           --           (.51)
                                            ===========  ===========
     Net Income (loss)                     $        .56  $      (.05)
                                            ===========  ===========

Shares used in calculation (000's)
   Basic                                        221,650      217,838
   Diluted                                      236,707      233,387
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     CONTACT: Costco Wholesale Corporation
                Richard Galanti, 425/313-8203
                 OR
                Bob Nelson, 425/313-8255