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Costco Wholesale Corp COST
Q2 2013 Earnings Call Transcript

Transcript Call Date 03/12/2013

Operator: Good morning. My name is Crystal, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I'd like to welcome everyone to the Second Quarter FY '13 Operating Results Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session.

Thank you. Mr. Richard Galanti, CFO, you may begin your conference.

Richard A. Galanti - EVP and CFO: Thanks, Crystal. Good morning to everyone. This morning's release of course, reviews our second quarter and fiscal first half 2013 operating results for the periods that ended on February 17th. As with every call let me start by stating that these discussions we are having will include forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, and that these statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events, results, and/or performance to differ materially from those indicated by such statements. The risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those outlined in today's call as well as other risks identified from time-to-time in the Company's public statements and reports filed with the SEC.

So to begin with our 12 week second quarter reported earnings per share of $1.24 up 38% from last year's $0.90 reported number. As noted in this morning's release and as I had mentioned during our first quarter conference call – earnings call back on December 12th, this quarter's net income was positively impacted by a $62 million or $0.14 per share income tax benefit. That was in connection with the portion – that portion of the special cash dividend paid by the Company in December of 2012 to Company 401(k) plan participants. Excluding this one-time benefit, our earnings per share for the quarter would have been $1.10 or up 22% year-over-year.

In terms of sales for the second quarter, total sales were up 8% and our 12-week reported comparable sales figure was up 5%. For the quarter, sales were very slightly benefited by gasoline inflation less than 10 basis points of an impact and were also benefited by strong foreign currencies overall relative to the U.S. dollar year-over-year by net added about 50 basis points. Even so the 5% U.S. comp sales excluding the gas inflation remained at 5% and while the reported 6% international comp figure assuming flat year-over-year FX rates would have been 4, total Company comps both were reported at 5%, excluding both gas and FX, they still came out to a 5% for the Company overall.

As announced last week for our four-week month of February, which of course includes two weeks – the last two weeks of fiscal Q2 and the first two weeks of our fiscal Q3, but in terms of those four-week month of February, comps came in at a 6% both for the U.S. and the total Company. In terms of new openings, after opening nine new locations in the first quarter, which ended November 25th, we opened five new locations in the second quarter, one in Washington D.C., two in Canada, one in Oshawa, which is in the Toronto market of Ontario and one in Drummondville, which is in the Montreal market in Quebec.

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