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Comparable sales results remain strong at Costco
23
Jul '08
Costco Wholesale Corporation commented on its earnings outlook for its fiscal fourth quarter (16 weeks) and fiscal year ending August 31, 2008.

Currently, earnings per share for the fourth quarter are expected to be well below the current First Call consensus earnings per share estimate of $1.00. Actual results for the fourth quarter and the fiscal year will be reported on October 8, 2008.

According to Richard Galanti, Chief Financial Officer of Costco: "Factors negatively affecting our fourth quarter earnings outlook arise largely from inflation, particularly as to energy costs.

They include a significantly greater-than-anticipated LIFO charge; an anticipated negative swing in year-over-year profitability in our gasoline operations; and slightly lower-than-planned merchandise profits related to holding selling price points to help drive sales and maintain the confidence of our members.

Our comparable sales results remain strong relative to other retailers and we believe our growth outlook remains positive, with 20 to 25 additional new units planned for our 2009 fiscal year."

The Company announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend on Costco Wholesale common stock of $.16 per share, or $.64 per share on an annualized basis. The dividend of $.16 per share, declared July 21, 2008, is payable August 22, 2008, to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 8, 2008.

The Company also announced that its Board of Directors authorized an additional common stock repurchase program of up to $1 billion. This is in addition to the aggregate $5.8 billion amount previously authorized by the Board, of which approximately $4.6 billion has been expended since June 2005, repurchasing approximately 85 million shares.

Costco Wholesale Corporation

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