Costco Wholesale Corporation's (NASDAQ:COST) shares are trading up more than +1.5% after hours following today's press release about its July sales, which show strong growth year over year. According to the company's report, net sales jumped +14.1% year over year, amounting to $11.43 billion in July 2019 but coming in at $13.4 billion in July 2020. Costco's fiscal sales month of July ends on Aug. 2.
The report went on to note that net sales also rose +8.8% for the 48-week period ending on Aug. 2, clocking in at $149.66 billion compared to the $137.56 billion generated during the 48 weeks ending on Aug. 2, 2019. Comparable sales, or comps, saw increases across the board in all regions, but rose most in non-Canadian international areas (+15.9%) and least in Canada (+10.4%).
Costco's e-commerce sales saw particularly good growth figures during July, coming in at +75.3%. While the company doesn't have the digital sales growth rate of competitors like Target, its gains are still strong in this area and may be better protected by the moat built into its business model.
A temporarily available pre-recorded telephone message by Assistant Vice President, Financial Planning & Investor Relations David Sherwood included the data that the average worldwide Costco customer purchase rose more than +11% for the month compared to last year. Sales in Japan, the United Kingdom, and Mexico provided the strongest portion of international segment sales. Sherwood also reported frozen food, liquor, and fresh food were the best-performing product categories in July.
Costco will provide its August 2020 sales results update on Sep. 2.