Costco 4Q earnings grow 18 percent, top forecasts

FILE Costco photo (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

ISSAQUAH, Wash. (AP) - Costco Wholesale Corp. said its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings increased 18 percent as the warehouse club's sales also improved.

The Issaquah, Washington-based company said Thursday that it had $919 million net income, or $2.08 per share. That's up from $779 million, or $1.77 per share, a year ago when the quarter was one week shorter.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The 13 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research expected earnings of $2.02 per share on average.

Costco posted revenue of $42.3 billion in the period, which also topped Street forecasts. Seven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $41.74 billion.

For the year, the company reported profit of $2.68 billion, or $6.08 per share. That's up from $2.35 billion, or $5.33 per share, the previous year. Revenue grew to $129.03 billion in 2017 from the previous year's $118.72 billion.

Costco shares have risen slightly more than 4 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor's 500 index has climbed 14 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Thursday, shares hit $167.07, an increase of 11 percent in the last 12 months.

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