Warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp beat quarterly revenue estimates on May 28, as people stocked up on essentials before hunkering down in their homes to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Costco, like many businesses deemed essential during the coronavirus-led lockdowns, benefited from an unprecedented spike in demand late during March and early April for basic products such as meat and paper towels.

E-commerce sales surged 66.1% on an adjusted basis, as consumers avoided in-person shopping and opted instead to use the option of same-day grocery delivery and facility to pick up online orders at local Costco stores. Total revenue rose 7.3% to $37.27 billion in the third quarter, beating estimates of $37.13 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Net income attributable to Costco fell to $838 million, or $1.89 per share, in the quarter ended May 10, from $906 million, or $2.05 per share, a year earlier. Analysts on average were expecting it to earn $1.95 per share.

The company said net income was hit by a $283 million charge related to higher wages and sanitation costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shares of the company fell 2% in extended trading.

Source: Globe and Mail