Costco Q4 FY2021 Earnings Report Recap

COST beat on earnings and revenue

Key Takeaways

  • Costco's comparable sales growth decelerated from the previous quarter but came in above analysts' expectations.
  • Comparable sales growth is a key metric of Costco's revenue growth from its warehouses and e-commerce sites that have been in operation for at least one year.
  • The company's e-commerce sales rose 11.2% from the year-ago quarter.
Costco Earnings Results
Metric  Beat/Miss/Match Reported Value Analysts' Prediction
EPS Beat $3.76 $3.59
Revenue Beat $62.7B $61.6B
Comparable Sales Growth Beat  15.5% 13.5%

Source: Predictions based on analysts' consensus from Visible Alpha

Costco (COST) Financial Results: Analysis

Costco Wholesale Corp. (COST) reported Q4 FY 2021 earnings that surpassed analysts' expectations. Earnings per share (EPS) beat analyst forecasts, rising 20.1% year over year (YOY). Costco's revenue came in above analyst estimates, up 17.4% compared to the year-ago quarter. Comparable sales growth also exceeded analyst expectations. The company's shares were up nearly 1% in after-hours trading. Over the past year, Costco's shares have provided a total return of 35.9%, slightly below the S&P 500's total return of 37.5%.

COST Comparable Sales Growth

Costco's comparable sales grew 15.5%, a deceleration from the previous quarter's rapid pace, but it was still the second fastest pace of growth in any quarter in at least the past four years. Costco, which operates on a membership-based model, defines comparable sales as net sales generated from its membership warehouses (including relocations, remodels, and expansions), as well as e-commerce websites that have been in operation for over one year. Growth in comparable sales is achieved through an increase in the shopping frequency from new and existing members as well as in the amount they spend per visit. When comparable sales are growing, it's a sign that existing sales channels have not yet saturated the local market, nor are those sales being cannibalized by the company's newly opened stores.

Costco's next earnings report (for Q1 FY 2022) is estimated to be released on Dec. 8, 2021.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
  1. Visible Alpha. "Financial Data." Accessed Sept. 21, 2021.

  2. Costco Wholesale Corp. "COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND FISCAL YEAR 2021 OPERATING RESULTS." Accessed Sept. 23, 2021.

  3. TradingView. "Price Chart: COST and S&P 500." Accessed Sept. 23, 2021.

  4. Costco Wholesale Corp. "Form 10-Q for the quarterly period ended May 9, 2021," Page 19. Accessed Sept. 23, 2021.

  5. Yahoo! Finance. "Earnings Calendar: COST." Accessed Sept. 23, 2021.