Consumer Business Recap: Costco Earnings, Ford’s Expectations

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Positive second quarter news from Costco (NASDAQ:COST), includes net profit up 13.2 percent to $394 million, and net sales up 10 percent to $22.51 billion. In February comparable store sales were up 8 percent, with net sales up 10 percent to $7.04 billion. Comparable sales were pushed up by higher gasoline prices, but forex effects had a negative impact. Costco operates 600 warehouses, and has plans to open as many as 10 more by fiscal year end.

Don’t Miss: Costco Bulks Up.

Citing the warm weather trend in the U.S. that helped it to fare better than rivals,and its positive potential for growth in commercial sales, UBS increases its price target on AutoZone (NYSE:AZO) to $400 from $375.

Exxon’s (NYSE:XOM) market cap passed $500 billion in 2008, and no company until now has done the same thing. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has risen 34 percent in 2012, with a positive earnings multiple of 12 times 2012’s expected earnings, a new iPad and maybe even a phone coming, and has now matched Exxon’s feat. With a rumors of a potential dividend in the air, shares are way up.

Saying that shares should be ‘bought on any weakness’, RBC Capital reaffirms its Top Pick rating for Jack in the Box (NASDAQ:JACK). Analysts say that the restaurant deserves a higher multiple, because of reliable cash flow streams from its franchises, and the profitable management of its Qdoba restaurants.

European losses of $500 million to $600 million this year are expected by Ford (NYSE:F) while sales throughout the industry are disappointing. However, Ford’s CFO Lewis Booth maintains that the forecast for overall profit similar to last year’s total is unchanged.

Don’t Miss: Economic Growth Takes Root.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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