October 4, 2018 / 8:54 PM / 8 months ago

UPDATE 1-Costco quarterly sales narrowly beat estimates

(Adds details on results, share price, background)

Oct 4 (Reuters) - Warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp's quarterly sales narrowly beat estimates on Thursday, with online sales losing steam in the face of intense competition from Amazon Inc and Walmart.

Shares of the company that sells everything from paper towels to televisions fell about 3 percent in extended trading.

Costco has been investing heavily in its online and delivery operations with initiatives such as same-day and two-day grocery delivery with Instacart to battle Amazon's aggressive expansion into the grocery space with the acquisition of Whole Foods last year.

However, the company posted a 26.3 percent rise in comparable online sales, excluding gas prices and price inflation, its slowest growth this year.

Net income attributable to Costco rose to $1.04 billion, or $2.36 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Sept. 2, from $919 million, or $2.08 per share, a year earlier.

Net sales rose 5 percent to $44.41 billion.

Analysts on average had expected the company to post a profit of $2.36 per share on revenue of $44.27 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Same-store sales, excluding gas and currency fluctuations, rose 7.2 percent, beating estimates of a 6.4 percent rise.

As of Thursday's close, shares of the company have risen 25 percent this year. (Reporting by Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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