Costco Wholesale said it expects profit for the current quarter to be “substantially below” analysts’ estimates.
The news pushed the stock of the Issaquah-based warehouse-club chain down $3.14, or 6.8 percent, to $42.98. The shares are down 18.1 percent so far this year.
Costco said in a statement Wednesday that earnings per share for its fiscal second quarter, which ends Feb. 15, will miss the consensus estimate of 70 cents. The retailer also said sales in January were little changed at $5.1 billion, and sales at outlets open at least a year — a key retailing metric, known as same-store sales — fell 2 percent.
There has been other not-so-great news for Costco in the recent past, but overall this is the first time I really feel like the economic slowdown is hitting Costco in a big way. They kept it up through Christmas, but now they’re in a slump too.
People are just keeping their money under the mattress these days, and I’m no exception.