UPDATE 1-Costco tops revenue estimates on strong fresh food, jewelry demand

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Sept 23 (Reuters) – Membership-only retail chain Costco Wholesale Corp beat market expectations for quarterly revenue on Thursday, helped by strong demand for fresh foods, snacks, household items and jewelry.

Shares of the Issaquah, Washington-based company were up 1% after the bell.

People returning to social events and outdoor activities following the rollout of vaccines has boosted demand for sporting goods and jewelry at Costco stores and helped offset some of the slowdown in sales of groceries following last year’s lockdown-induced panic buying.

A reopening economy has also given people more confidence to return to shopping in physical stores, helping Costco which does not have the e-commerce strength of peers such as Walmart Inc and Target Corp.

Net income rose to $1.67 billion, or $3.76 per share, in the quarter ended Aug. 29, from $1.39 billion, or $3.13 per share, a year earlier.

Comparable sales, excluding the impact of fuel and currency fluctuations, jumped 9.4% in the fourth quarter, compared with estimates of an 8.07% rise, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

Total revenue rose to $62.68 billion in the fourth quarter from $53.38 billion a year earlier. Analysts on average had expected revenue of $61.30 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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