Finanzas: Costco: Digging Deeper Into December Sales

Fachada de una tienda de la cadena Costco


U.S. comparable sales appears to be on the uptick over the last few months aiding net sales.

Strength in Canadian segment and CAD helped to offset International segment forex impact.


Looking ahead, the Canadian segment could continue to offset forex headwinds in International segment. A return to gasoline inflation and increase in U.S. comparable sales could help January sales.

Comparable sales at Costco (NASDAQ: COST) picked up in the month of December and coupled with the expansion strategy helped post about a 4.9 percent increase in net sales in tough environments over a similar period last year. Let’s take a deeper look at what influenced December sales numbers and what it could mean for the company’s January sales moving forward. Readers interested in tailwinds that could aid net sales numbers could consider reading about potential catalysts for Costco.

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December Sales and Recent Sales Performance

Costco reported December sales results on January 4th, 2017. Net sales increased to $13.07 billion from $12.46 billion during the similar period last year, an increase of about 4.9 percent.

Comparable sales including the impact of foreign exchange and gasoline were as follows:

U.S.: 3 percent

Canada: 7 percent

International segment: -3 percent

Total company: 3 percent

Comparable sales excluding the impact of foreign exchange were as follows:

U.S.: 3 percent

Canada: 4 percent

International segment: 4 percent

Total company: 3 percent

The biggest positive here is the jump in U.S. comparable sales. After showing flattish trends for most of the year, it appears to be picking up over the last three months. This is good considering that the values include only a small inflationary impact of gasoline. Figure 1, shows the comparable sales figures by operating region segment for each month since December 2015. Forex impact on December sales is seen almost neutral with the Canadian segment benefiting from appreciation of the CAD, while the benefit is offset by the International segment due to weakness in the Mexican Peso and GBP mainly. The net result was a decent increase of about 3 percent in total company comparable sales, which helped increase net sales for the month.

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