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Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports First Quarter Fiscal Year 2010 Operating Results

ISSAQUAH, WA--(Marketwire - 12/10/09) - Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:COST - News) announced today its operating results for the first quarter (twelve weeks) of fiscal 2010, ended November 22, 2009.  

Net sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 increased six percent to $16.92 billion from $16.04 billion during the first quarter of fiscal 2009. On a comparable warehouse basis, that is warehouses open at least one year, net sales increased three percent.

Comparable sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 were:

                                                                 12 Weeks
                                                                 ---------

U.S.                                                                 1%
International                                                       13%

Total Company                                                        3%
                                                                 =========

The strengthening of foreign currencies relative to the U.S. dollar and deflation in the selling price of gasoline had offsetting impacts on comparable sales. Comparable sales excluding these effects were as follows:

                                                                 12 Weeks
                                                                 ---------

U.S.                                                                 2%
International                                                        8%

Total Company                                                        3%
                                                                 =========

Net income for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 was $266 million, or $.60 per diluted share, compared to $263 million, or $.60 per diluted share, during the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

Costco currently operates 566 warehouses, including 413 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 77 in Canada, 21 in the United Kingdom, seven in Korea, six in Taiwan, nine in Japan, one in Australia and 32 in Mexico. The Company also operates Costco Online, an electronic commerce web site, at www.costco.com and at www.costco.ca in Canada.

A conference call to discuss these fiscal 2010 first quarter results is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. (PT) today, December 10, 2009, and is available via a webcast on www.costco.com (click on Investor Relations and "Play Webcast").

Certain statements contained in this document constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. For these purposes, forward-looking statements are statements that address activities, events, conditions or developments that the Company expects or anticipates may occur in the future. Such forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual events, results or performance to differ materially from those indicated by such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, domestic and international economic conditions, including exchange rates, the effects of competition and regulation, uncertainties in the financial markets, consumer and small business spending patterns and debt levels, conditions affecting the acquisition, development, ownership or use of real estate, actions of vendors, rising costs associated with employees (including health care costs), geopolitical conditions and other risks identified from time to time in the Company's public statements and reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

                        COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION
                CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
                (dollars in millions, except per share data)
                                (unaudited)


                                                      12 Weeks Ended
                                                  ------------------------
                                                 November 22, November 23,
                                                      2009         2008
                                                  -----------  -----------

REVENUE
   Net sales                                      $    16,922  $    16,036
   Membership fees                                        377          359
                                                  -----------  -----------
      Total revenue                                    17,299       16,395
OPERATING EXPENSES
   Merchandise costs                                   15,081       14,276
   Selling, general and administrative                  1,777        1,677
   Preopening expenses                                     11           13
   Provision for impaired assets and closing costs,
    net                                                     2            7
                                                  -----------  -----------
      Operating income                                    428          422
OTHER INCOME (EXPENSE)
   Interest expense                                       (24)         (25)
   Interest income and other                               18           21
                                                  -----------  -----------
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES                                422          418
   Provision for income taxes                             152          152
                                                  -----------  -----------
NET INCOME BEFORE NONCONTROLLING INTERESTS                270          266
   Net income attributable to noncontrolling
    interests                                              (4)          (3)
                                                  -----------  -----------
NET INCOME ATTRIBUTABLE TO COSTCO                 $       266  $       263
                                                  ===========  ===========

NET INCOME PER COMMON SHARE ATTRIBUTABLE TO
 COSTCO:
   Basic                                          $      0.61  $      0.61
                                                  ===========  ===========
   Diluted                                        $      0.60  $      0.60
                                                  ===========  ===========

   Shares used in calculation (000's)
      Basic                                           437,173      432,451
      Diluted                                         444,849      440,533

   Dividends per share                            $     0.180  $     0.160



CONTACTS:
Costco Wholesale Corporation
Richard Galanti
425/313-8203
Bob Nelson
425/313-8255
Jeff Elliott
425/313-8264
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