Costco Wholesale Corp Second Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Costco Wholesale Corp (NASDAQ:COST) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, February 29, 2012. Costco Wholesale operates membership warehouses that offer a selection of nationally branded and selected private-label products in categories such as food, appliances, and sporting goods, at low prices.

Costco Wholesale Corp Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for net income of 88 cents per share, a rise of 11.4% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 90 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 88 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 16.4% versus last year to $3.84.

Past Earnings Performance: The company fell in line with estimates last quarter after missing in the prior quarter. After falling short of the mean estimate by one cent in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company fell in line with expectations by reporting profit of 80 cents last quarter.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $22.77 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 9.1% from the year-ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $97.57 billion for the year, a rise of 9.7% from last year’s revenue of $88.92 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Optimism surrounds Costco Wholesale, as 10 analysts rate it as a buy, four rate it as a sell, and seven rate it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the first quarter, profit rose 2.6% to $320 million (73 cents a share) from $312 million (71 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 12.4% to $21.63 billion from $19.24 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 14.1%, with the biggest boost coming in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 16.8% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 10.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year and 5.9% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between November 25, 2011 and February 23, 2012, the stock price rose $4.18 (5.2%), from $80.59 to $84.77. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between September 9, 2011 and September 20, 2011, when shares rose for eight straight days, increasing 7.8% (+$6.14) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between December 6, 2011 and December 15, 2011 when shares fell for eight straight days, dropping 6.2% (-$5.47) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at