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Costco Q3 net sales rise 10%

31
May '07
Costco Wholesale Corporation announced its operating results for the third quarter (twelve weeks) and first thirty-six weeks of fiscal 2007, ended May 13, 2007.

Net sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 increased 10% to $14.34 billion, from $13.01 billion during the third quarter of fiscal 2006. This quarter's reported sales were reduced by $228.2 million as a result of an increase in the sales returns reserve balance.

This increase resulted from the previously announced continuing review of historical data of trends in sales returns used to estimate future returns recorded in the reserve balance. Excluding the increase to the sales returns reserve, net sales for the third quarter were $14.57 billion, representing a 12% increase over the prior year.

The Company expects that its new return policy for certain electronic items, implemented in the U.S. during the third quarter, will favorably impact future returns experience.

Reported net income for the third quarter of fiscal 2007 was $224.0 million, or $.49 per diluted share, compared to $235.6 million, or $.49 per diluted share, during the third quarter of fiscal 2006. Included in this year's third quarter results is a $48.1 million pre-tax ($30.3 million after tax) charge primarily reflecting the reduced gross margin on estimated future returns recorded in the increased sales return reserve noted above.

Excluding the adjustment to the sales return reserve, third quarter net income would have been $254.3 million, or $.56 per diluted share, a 14% increase over last year's $.49 per diluted share.


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