Costco (NASDAQ: COST ) reported results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2014 this morning and while the results fell short of Wall Street estimates, shares are rising anyhow, up about 0.60% as of 10:55 a.m..
Net sales increased 7% year-over-year, stopping at $25.2 billion. GAAP earnings grew 3% to $1.07 per share. Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.09 per share on $25.8 billion in sales.
Costco opened six new stores during the quarter, including four in international markets. The retailer's store network has grown by 4.5% over the last year. The company plans to open another eight warehouses in the fourth quarter, which ends Aug. 31, and has no store closings planned at the moment. It currently operates 655 warehouses.
Comparable-store sales increased by 4% year over year. Excluding foreign exchange rate fluctuations and the effect of falling gasoline prices, comp sales would have grown by 6%.
Membership fees rose 5.7% to $561 million. These fees accounted for 76% of Costco's operating income in the quarter, up from 73% in the year-ago period. Costco has recorded a $1.3 billion liability to account for deferred membership fees, an 11% annual increase.