Costco reported its fiscal fourth quarter earnings that surpassed analysts’ expectations. However, the big-box retail giant said that it would begin limiting purchases of certain essential items amid supply chain challenges.
Costco's earning in the quarter came in at $3.76 per share, up +23.7% year-over-year, and beating analysts’ expectations of $3.58 per share. Gross margins, however, fell -32 basis points to 10.9% owing to rising supply chain costs amid COVID-19 pandemic.
Revenue rose +17% from the year-ago quarter to $62.68 billion, compared to analysts’ estimates of $61.4 billion.
Comparable sales rose by a higher-than-expected +9.4%. Membership fees increased +11.7% to $1.234 billion, and total members topped 61.7 million.
During the earnings call, Costco Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said the retailer is “putting some [purchase] limitations on key items.” The items include toilet paper, paper towels, bottled water and high-demand cleaning products. But Galanti did not specify how many of each item customers will be allowed to purchase. The limitations are being placed due to shipping delays and truck driver shortages.
Galanti mentioned that the company has chartered three ocean vessels for the next year to transport containers between Asia and the U.S. and Canada. Each ship has the capacity to carry 800 to 1,000 containers at a time, he said.