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Warehouse club giant beats street as profit rises 17%

Costco Wholesale Club reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts' estimates amid strong online sales and higher membership fees.

Costco earned $640 million, $1.45 a share, in the quarter ended November 26, compared with $545 million, or $1.24 a share, in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.33 a share.

Net sales rose 13.3% to $31.12 billion, better than analysts expected. Total same-store sales 10.5%.

Costco's comparable E-commerce sales jumped 43.5%. The increase comes as the retailer has been investing to grow its digital capabilities, including a partnership with delivery service firm Instacart to offer two-day and same-day delivery.

Costco currently operates 746 warehouses, including 518 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 98 in Canada, 37 in Mexico, 28 in the United Kingdom, 26 in Japan, 13 in Korea, 13 in Taiwan, nine in Australia, two in Spain, one in Iceland and one in France. Costco also operates e-commerce websites in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Korea and Taiwan.
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