Costco Wholesale Corp. reported lower-than-expected profit and sales for its fiscal third quarter as online sales growth eased on Thursday. Costco COST, +0.49% said it earned $1.22 billion, or $2.75 a share, in the quarter, compared with $838 million, or $1.89 a share, in the year-ago quarter.Net sales for the quarter, increased 22% to $44.4 billion, from $36.45 billion a year ago.
Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the retailer to report a GAAP profit of $2.32 a share on sales of $44.7 billion. Same-store sales rose 21%, and online sales rose 41%, the company said. At the height of pandemic-fueled stockpiling, Costco online sales soared, including a 65% jump in the third quarter of 2020. Shares of Costco fell 0.4% in the extended session after ending the regular trading day up 0.5%. The stock has gained 2.9% so far this year, compared with gains of around 12% for the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.12%.
Costco Wholesale Group added it continued to see strength in its non-foods businesses and its travel division, which offers hotel rooms and cruise tickets to its members, aided by pent-up demand and COVID-19 vaccine roll-outs. However, the company said it was still pressured by supply delays, higher freight costs, and chip shortages, which were impacting deliveries.Richard Galanti, Chief financial officer said that there have been and are a variety of inflationary pressures that we and others are seeing. Inflationary factors abound. The multinational corporation added that it was tackling supply chain delays by adjusting orders.