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Costco posts mild Q4 increases

Issaquah, Wash. -- Costco Wholesale Corporation experienced modest net income and sales growth in its fourth quarter.

operating results and the 52-week fiscal year 2013 ended Sept. 1, 2013, and its Sobereptember sales results for the five weeks ended Oct. 6, 2013.

For the 16-week fourth quarter, net income inched up 1.3% to $617 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, compared to the year ago period's $609 million, or $1.39 per diluted share.

Similarly, net sales increased a slight 1% to $31.77 billion from $31.52 billion in the 17-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.

Changes in foreign exchange rates had a negative impact on comparable sales in the quarter. Excluding this impact, comps grew 5% in the U.S., 7% internationally, and 5% for the total company.

Much better off was fiscal 2013 net income, which jumped 19.3% to $2.04 billion, or $4.63 per diluted share, compared to $1.71 billion, or $3.89 per diluted share, in 2012. However, Costco explained this year's net income was positively impacted by a second quarter $62 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, tax benefit in connection with the portion of the special cash dividend paid in December 2012 to the company 401(k) plan participants.

Up 6% were net sales for the 52-week fiscal year 2013, rising to $102.87 billion from $97.06 billion in the prior year.

And comps for the full year rose evenly by 5% in the U.S., internationally, and for the total company.

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