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December 10, 2020 at 4:15 PM EST

Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports First Quarter Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Results

ISSAQUAH, Wash., Dec. 10, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Costco Wholesale Corporation (“Costco” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: COST) today announced its operating results for the first quarter (twelve weeks) of fiscal 2021, ended November 22, 2020.

Net sales for the first quarter increased 16.9 percent, to $42.35 billion from $36.24 billion last year.

Comparable sales for the first quarter fiscal 2021 were as follows:

    12 Weeks   12 Weeks  
                U.S. 14.6%   17.0%                
  Canada 16.2%   16.8%  
  Other International 18.7%   17.7%  
  Total Company 15.4%   17.1%  
  E-commerce 86.4%   86.2%  
*Excluding the impacts from changes in gasoline prices and foreign exchange.

Net income for the quarter was $1,166 million, or $2.62 per diluted share, compared to $844 million, or $1.90 per diluted share, last year. This year’s first quarter included tax benefits of $145 million or $0.33 per diluted share, $0.16 of which was due to the deductibility of the $10 per share special cash dividend, to the extent received by the Company’s 401(k) plan participants; and $0.17 cents related to stock-based compensation. Last year’s first quarter included a $77 million or $0.17 per diluted share tax benefit related to stock-based compensation. This year’s results reflect an expense for COVID-19 premium wages of $212 million pre-tax or $0.35 per diluted share.

Costco currently operates 803 warehouses, including 558 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 102 in Canada, 39 in Mexico, 29 in the United Kingdom, 27 in Japan, 16 in Korea, 14 in Taiwan, 12 in Australia, three in Spain, and one each in Iceland, France, and China. Costco also operates e-commerce sites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and Australia.

A conference call to discuss these results is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. (PT) today, December 10, 2020, and is available via a webcast on (click on Investor Relations and “Play Webcast”).

Certain statements contained in this document constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. For these purposes, forward-looking statements are statements that address activities, events, conditions or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may occur in the future. In some cases forward-looking statements can be identified because they contain words such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “likely,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “seek,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would,” or similar expressions and the negatives of those terms. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events, results or performance to differ materially from those indicated by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, domestic and international economic conditions, including exchange rates, the effects of competition and regulation, uncertainties in the financial markets, consumer and small business spending patterns and debt levels, breaches of security or privacy of member or business information, conditions affecting the acquisition, development, ownership or use of real estate, capital spending, actions of vendors, rising costs associated with employees (generally including health-care costs), energy and certain commodities, geopolitical conditions (including tariffs), the ability to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, COVID-19 related factors and challenges, including (among others) the duration of the pandemic, the unknown long-term economic impact, reduced shopping due to illness, travel restrictions or financial hardship, shifts in demand away from discretionary or higher-priced products, reduced workforces due to illness, quarantine, or government mandates, temporary store closures due to reduced workforces or government mandates, or supply-chain disruptions, capacity constraints of third-party logistics suppliers, and other risks identified from time to time in the Company’s public statements and reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and the Company does not undertake to update these statements, except as required by law.

CONTACTS:  Costco Wholesale Corporation
  Richard Galanti, 425/313-8203
  Bob Nelson, 425/313-8255
  David Sherwood, 425/313-8239
  Josh Dahmen, 425/313-8254


(dollars in millions, except per share data)

  12 Weeks Ended
November 22, 2020
November 24, 2019
Net sales $ 42,347     $ 36,236  
Membership fees 861     804  
Total revenue 43,208     37,040  
Merchandise costs 37,458     32,233  
Selling, general and administrative 4,298     3,732  
Preopening expenses 22     14  
Operating income 1,430     1,061  
Interest expense (39 )   (38 )
Interest income and other, net 29     35  
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES         1,420     1,058  
Provision for income taxes 239     202  
Net income including noncontrolling interests 1,181     856  
Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests (15 )   (12 )
NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO COSTCO         $ 1,166     $ 844  
Basic $ 2.63     $ 1.91  
Diluted $ 2.62     $ 1.90  
Shares used in calculation (000’s):      
Basic 442,952     441,818  
Diluted 444,386     443,680  

(amounts in millions, except par value and share data)

Subject to Reclassification

      November 22, 2020   August 30, 2020
Cash and cash equivalents $ 13,590     $ 12,277  
Short-term investments 833     1,028  
Receivables, net 1,646     1,550  
Merchandise inventories 14,901     12,242  
Other current assets 1,126     1,023  
Total current assets 32,096     28,120  
Property and equipment, net 22,288     21,807  
Operating lease right-of-use assets 2,785     2,788  
Other long-term assets 3,048     2,841  
TOTAL ASSETS         $ 60,217     $ 55,556  
Accounts payable $ 17,014     $ 14,172  
Accrued salaries and benefits 3,586     3,605  
Accrued member rewards 1,451     1,393  
Deferred membership fees 1,985     1,851  
Current portion of long-term debt 96     95  
Other current liabilities 8,535     3,728  
Total current liabilities 32,667     24,844  
Long-term debt, excluding current portion 7,529     7,514  
Long-term operating lease liabilities 2,574     2,558  
Other long-term liabilities 2,138     1,935  
TOTAL LIABILITIES         44,908     36,851  
Preferred stock $0.01 par value; 100,000,000 shares authorized; no shares
issued and outstanding
Common stock $0.01 par value; 900,000,000 shares authorized; 442,955,000
and 441,255,000 shares issued and outstanding
4     4  
Additional paid-in capital 6,725     6,698  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss (1,101 )   (1,297 )
Retained earnings 9,232     12,879  
Total Costco stockholders’ equity 14,860     18,284  
Noncontrolling interests 449     421  
TOTAL EQUITY         15,309     18,705  
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY         $ 60,217     $ 55,556  

Costco Wholesale Corporation