Given that there's a pesky price war going on for the holidays, Costco (NASDAQ:COST) pulled off a pretty impressive victory with its first-quarter reports.

First-quarter profit at Costco increased 10% to $237 million, or $0.51 per share. Net sales increased 9% to $13.85 billion; adding in membership fees, total sales increased 9% to $14.15 billion. Same-store sales increased 4%.

Costco's quarter is an interesting success compared with other retailers' stories. Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) disappointed some people with its earnings, largely because of its lower margins as it competes with companies like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT) on price to try to attract fickle customers this holiday season. And, of course, Costco does have one distinct advantage over some of these other retailers -- its membership fees are a high-margin vehicle for additional revenue.

Costco beat analysts' expectations by a penny, but it gave a lower-than-expected view of full-year earnings at $2.50 to $2.60 per share. The high end of its guidance had previously been $2.65 per share; analysts had been expecting $2.59 per share.

The warehouse retailer also said that it will take a charge of $45 million, or $0.10 per share, in the current quarter, to protect its employees from taxes in regard to its new program related to the stock options review the company is undergoing.

It seems that this has been a victorious quarter for Costco, considering some of the pressures on other discount retailers. Although investors may disagree on whether now would be a good time to buy shares of Costco -- I recently dueled with Ryan Fuhrmann on the matter, and one Fool suggested it will be the best blue chip of 2007 -- it's clear that Costco is very good at running a profitable, growing business, with its impressive sales volumes offsetting low margins and a close eye on keeping costs low.

Further big-box Foolishness:

Costco and Best Buy are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Wal-Mart is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy enjoys a bargain.