Costco Wholesale Corp. said Wednesday its profit for the quarter ending in February will "substantially" miss Wall Street estimates due to poor sales and margins.
January sales in stores open at least a year, a key retailer metric known as same-store sales, declined 2 percent, comprising flat domestic sales and a 9 percent decline overseas, hurt by the strengthening dollar.
Total sales for the month dipped to $5.10 billion from $5.11 billion a year ago.
The retailer now expects earnings for its fiscal second quarter to miss the consensus estimate of 70 cents per share, though Costco did not provide more specifics.
It also said it will not provide earnings guidance for the rest of the fiscal year.
"General economic conditions have negatively affected our sales, primarily in non-foods, and merchandise margins," Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said in a statement. "Our margins have also been impacted by aggressive merchandise pricing in our core merchandise business to drive sales and increase market share, particularly during the first four weeks of the fiscal quarter."
Costco operates 550 warehouses and plans to open up to 15 new stores by the end of August.
The company will report earnings March 4.
Shares of Costco declined $3.14, or 6.8 percent, to close at $42.98.