Costco and Target report solid increases, but fall short of Street

New York City -- Costco Wholesale Corp. reported a 9% increase in same-store sales in October, helped by strong performances in the United States and abroad, just short of the 9.2% increase predicted by analysts.

Costco’s same-store U.S. sales rose 9% and were up 8% overseas. Taking out inflation in gas prices and a slightly negative impact from foreign currencies, the metric increased 6% in the United State and 9% internationally.

Target Corp. said Thursday that same-store sales rose 3.3% in October, below analysts' estimates of 4.2%. Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said he was pleased with the chain’s performance, which was up from a 1.7% increase in the year-ago period.

“We’re confident that our merchandising and marketing plans position Target to drive strong results throughout the holiday season and beyond,” he said.

The retailer reported that an increase in the average size of each transaction offset a slight decline in the number of transactions. Customers loaded up on essentials, with food and household products performing the best. Sales were softer for non-necessities like jewelry and home decor.

  • The TJX Cos. said that its October same-store sales increased by 3%, better than the 2.8% gain predicted by analysts.

TJX CEO Carol Meyrowitz stated: “We are pleased that our October comparable store sales increase of 3% on both a consolidated basis and at The Marmaxx Group came in at the high end of our expected range, despite unseasonably warm weather negatively impacting cold-weather apparel sales in certain key regions of the United States and Canada. Notably, business in the United States picked up nicely as the weather turned colder toward the end of the month. We are also pleased with the progress we are making at TJX Europe.

In other discount same-store sales results for October:

  • Ross Stores reported a 5% increase, ahead of its expectations, and raised its third quarter guidance. The company said juniors and shoes were the strongest merchandise categories in October, while Florida remained the best-performing market.
  • Duckwall-Alco Stores reported a 2.8% increase, excluding fuel.
  • Fred’s posted a 2% increase.