Issaquah-based Costco Wholesale Corp. recently beat Wall Street earnings estimates for the fourth-consecutive quarter after posting net income of $844 million for its first quarter ended Nov. 24, up from $767 million the prior year ― while net sales jumped 5.6% year over year to $36.2 billion.
With the announcement of its healthy earnings report, Costco also revealed some interesting tidbits in a recent earnings conference call that offer additional insights into the operations of the fast-growing global retail giant. Leading the conference call with analysts for the company was Richard Galanti, Costco’s chief financial officer.
Among Galanti’s revelations:
* Costco opened three new outlets during the first quarter, all in the U.S.― a business center in Dallas and two new Costco warehouses, one each in Connecticut and Minnesota.
* The company’s Nebraska chicken plant, opened on Sept. 10, is on track to ramp up to a full production and processing level of 2.2 million chickens a week within 45 weeks of the plant’s launch.
* There are about 135 locations in the U.S. and Canada that now offer self-checkout services, with plans to add another 92 locations in early 2020.
* Finally, with respect to a question from an analyst about membership activity at Costco’s booming Shanghai, China, outlet, which opened in August, Galanti revealed the following:
“It's beyond good. …The average Costco in the world has somewhere in the mid- to high-60,000 member households. We have had locations in other countries in Asia where we might be at a 100,000 to 120,000 after a few years, maybe even after one or two years. This one [Shanghai] is more than twice that. So there’s lot of press in a city that is populated with 25-plus million people.”