Earnings Cheat Sheet: Costco Posts 14% Earnings Increase on International Sales Growth

Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST), operating an international chain of warehouses spanning 4 continents, reported 2010 Q4 and fiscal 2011 earnings this morning.

Earnings: $0.97 vs $0.95 consensus and $0.85 in Q4 the previous year, a Year-over-Year increase of 14%. For the year, EPS was $2.92 vs $2.47 the previous year, an increase of 18%.

Revenue: Increased 8% Year-over-Year at $23.59 billion vs $21.89 billion. Fiscal 2010 net sales for the year increased 9% from $69.89 billion to $76.25 billion.

Notable Stats: Comparable sales rose 6% from a year earlier, driven by strong international growth, while comparable sales for the fiscal year rose 7%. A weakening dollar may further contribute to the international sales growth, offering COST ample room for expansion into fiscal 2011 and Q1.

The view ahead looks great as COST reports a jump-start to fiscal 2011. Same store sales, excluding currency changes and gasoline, were up 4%, rising 2% in the U.S. and 10% internationally for the month of September.

Costco Wholesale currently operates 573 warehouses. 156 locations are international and it expects to open 9 more locations before the end of the 2010 calendar year.

Comment: Shares of Costco Wholesale (COST) are trading down 1% at $64.03¬†following the company’s earnings release.

Based on the chart, COST looks technically well-positioned as the rising 50 day moving average crosses above the rising 200 day. A run-up to in-line earnings caused a dip, but the stock is still near 52-week highs.

Disclosure: No Position.