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Costco, Target and BJ’s exceed expectations


New York City Despite warm weather that hurt sales of seasonal goods, discounters and warehouse club operators made gains in October as consumers continued to seek out deals.

Costco Wholesale Corp.'s same-store sales climbed 6% in October as international results improved in part because of the weaker dollar. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a smaller 4.6% increase.

In the United States, Costco's revenue at stores open at least a year increased 4%. The same figure jumped 14% internationally. Excluding the impact of gasoline prices and the softer dollar, U.S. results rose 3% and international results climbed 10%.

BJ’s Wholesale Club also exceeded expectations, with same-store sales up 3.7%. Excluding gasoline sales, same-store sales rose 2.2%. Analysts, on average, had expected same-store sales to rise 2.3%, with sales excluding gas expected to rise by 2.1%, according to Thomson Reuters.

Target Corp. said its same-store sales edged up 1.7% in October, slightly better than expected. For the quarter, same-store sales rose 1.6% while total revenue was up 3% to $15.2 billion.

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the results were at the low end of the company's expectations because of softness in the first half of the month. He said traffic is healthy in stores and the company is seeing essential items selling better than discretionary items, a sign that consumers are still squeezed for cash or cautious about spending.

In other October same-store sales results:

  • Ross Stores’ sales rose 4%, widely beating analysts' estimates, which had called for a 0.8% increase.
  • TJX said its October same-store sales were flat, compared with the forecast for a drop of 0.9% Sales for the four-week period ended Oct. 30, rose 5% to $1.8 billion.
  • Big Lots said same-store sales inched up 0.7%, pressured by more selective purchasing.

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