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Costco Comparable warehouse sales rise in Q4
08
Oct '08
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced its operating results for the 16 weeks (fourth quarter) and the 52 weeks (fiscal year) ended August 31, 2008, and its September sales results.

Net sales for the 16-week fourth quarter ended August 31, 2008 increased 13%, to $22.63 billion from $20.09 billion during the 16-week fourth quarter ended September 2, 2007. Comparable warehouse sales during the 16-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 increased 9% over the corresponding 16-week period last year.

Net sales for fiscal 2008, the 52 weeks ended August 31, 2008, were $70.98 billion, an increase of 13% from $63.09 billion during the prior 52-week fiscal year ended September 2, 2007. Comparable warehouse sales increased 8% over the corresponding 52-week period of the prior year.

16 Weeks
US: 9%
International: 11%
Total Company: 9%

52 Weeks
US: 6%
International: 15%
Total Company: 8%

Excluding gasoline price inflation, U.S. comparable sales would have been up 6 percent for the 16-week fourth quarter and up 4 percent for the 52-week fiscal year, both ended August 31, 2008.

Net income for the 16-week fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008 was $397.8 million, or $.90 per diluted share, compared to net income of $372.4 million, or $.83 per diluted share, during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. The increase of $.07 per diluted share represents an increase of 8% year-over-year.

The fiscal year 2008 fourth quarter results were negatively impacted by a non-cash pre-tax LIFO charge of $32.3 million ($21.2 million, or $.05 per diluted share, after-tax), primarily resulting from price increases in various food and grocery items and gasoline in the Company's U.S. merchandise inventories. The fourth quarter results also include a $15.9 million pre-tax charge ($10.4 million, or $.02 per diluted share, after-tax) recorded in connection with a litigation settlement.

The fiscal year 2007 fourth quarter results were negatively impacted by a non-recurring, non-cash pre-tax charge of $56.2 million ($35.8 million, or $.08 per diluted share, after-tax) to increase the Company's deferred membership revenue liability (and reduce membership fee revenue). Excluding these charges, fourth quarter fiscal 2008 net income per diluted share of $.90 would have been $.07 higher, and the fourth quarter fiscal 2007 net income per diluted share of $.83 would have been $.08 higher.

Net income for fiscal 2008 was $1.28 billion, or $2.89 per diluted share, compared to $1.08 billion, or $2.37 per diluted share, during fiscal year 2007. Excluding the fourth quarter LIFO charge and litigation settlement, outlined above, net income per diluted share for fiscal 2008 would have been $.07 higher.

Excluding the adjustment to membership fee revenue, outlined above, as well as three additional items recorded in the second and third quarters of fiscal 2007, which in total aggregated to $188.7 million pre-tax ($119.5 million after-tax), net income per diluted share for fiscal 2007 would have been $.26 higher. Please refer to our annual report filed on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 2, 2007 for more information regarding these items.

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