Costco February same-store sales rise 6 pct, beat estimates

Thu Mar 7, 2013 3:34am EST
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March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. retailer Costco Wholesale Corp posted a 6 percent rise in comparable sales in February, beating Wall Street expectations, helped by higher fuel prices.

Analysts were expecting sales at stores open more than a year to rise 5.1 percent, including the effects of fuel and foreign exchange, according to Thomson Reuters Data.

Net sales at the largest U.S. warehouse operator rose 8 percent to $7.58 billion for the four-week period ended March 3. Sales for the 12 weeks ended Feb. 17 also increased 8 percent, to $24.34 billion.

David Sherwood, Costco's director of finance and investor relations, said in a pre-recorded conference call that the company's February sales were driven by Texas, the U.S. Southeast, Northeast and Midwest.

Internationally, Canada, Taiwan and Mexico boosted results.

Costco competes with Wal-Mart Stores Inc's Sam's Club and privately-held BJ's Wholesale.

It sells everything from groceries to car accessories.