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Costco Wholesale’s net income rose 3 percent in the third quarter as the warehouse club operator’s sales and membership fees improved.

A key sales figure rose both in the U.S. and abroad, but its earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations and its stock slipped Thursday.

Costco’s stores offer members the ability to buy items in bulk at low prices.

Net income for the 12 weeks ended May 11 rose 3 percent to $473 million, or $1.07 per share. That compares with net income of $459 million, or $1.04 per share.

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Analysts expected $1.09 per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 7 percent to $25.79 billion from $24.08 billion last year. Analysts expected $25.68 billion.

Revenue in stores open at least one year, or same-store sales, rose 5 percent in the U.S. and 3 percent internationally.

U.S. retailers of all stripes struggled with harsh winter weather and shaky consumer confidence during the most recent quarter. But Costco’s numbers looked good compared to some other major chains. Excluding gas prices and foreign-currency fluctuation, Costco’s same-store sales rose 6 percent in the U.S. and 8 percent internationally. Revenue by similar measures fell 0.2 percent at Wal-Mart Stores in the U.S. and dropped 0.3 percent at Target in their most recent quarters.

Issaquah-based Costco operates 655 warehouses, including 464 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 87 in Canada, 33 in Mexico, 25 in the United Kingdom, 19 in Japan, 10 in Taiwan, 10 in Korea, six in Australia and one in Spain.

Its shares closed Thursday down 10 cents at $114.14. They have fallen about 4 percent so far this year.

Costco’s comparison to other retailers was reported by Bloomberg News

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