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ISSAQUAH, WA-Costco Wholesale Corp. achieved same-store sales of 7% for the second quarter fiscal 2006, beating out its rivals BJ’s Wholesale Club and Sam’s Club. During the quarter, BJ’s posted comps of 1.7%, while Sam’s generated a 5% increase.

Costco’s CFO Richard Galanti said during the chain’s conference call that the comp increases were driven by increasing average transactions and transaction frequency.

Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2006 increased 11% to $13.78 billion from $12.41 billion during the second quarter of fiscal 2005. Net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2006 was $296.2 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, compared to $305.5 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, during the second quarter of fiscal 2005.Analysts were expecting earnings of 60 cents per share, according to Thomson First Call.

It’s worth noting that Costco’s net income for the fiscal 2005 second quarter was positively impacted by a one-time $52.1 million income tax benefit. Excluding the one-time benefit, net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2005 would have been $263.4 million or 54 cents per diluted share; therefore, the current quarter’s reported earnings per share of 62 cents represents a 15% increase over the prior year’s adjusted earnings per share of 54 cents.

For the first half of fiscal 2006, net sales increased 11% to $26.45 billion from $23.75 billion during the first half of fiscal 2005. Net income for the same period increased 3% to $512 million, or $1.06 per diluted share, compared to net income for the first half of fiscal 2005 of $498.6 million, or $1.02 per diluted share. Again, excluding the prior year’s second quarter tax benefit, net income for the first half of fiscal 2005 would have been $456.5 million, or 94 cents per diluted share. Reported earnings of $1.06 per diluted share for the first half of fiscal 2006 represents a 13% increase over the prior year’s adjusted earnings per share of 94 cents.

For the six-month retail reporting period of September through February, the chain reported net sales of $28.55 billion, an increase of 11% from $25.62 billion during the comparable period of the prior fiscal year.

Costco currently operates 471 warehouses, including 346 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 66 in Canada, 17 in the United Kingdom, five in Korea, four in Taiwan, five in Japan and 28 in Mexico. So far in fiscal 2006, the chain has opened 12 new stores and is on track to open more than 20 by the end of the fiscal year, Galanti said during the call.

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