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Costco Wholesale Corporation Reports Second Quarter and Year-to-Date Operating Results for Fiscal Year 2013

ISSAQUAH, WA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/12/13 -- Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: COST) announced today its operating results for the second quarter (twelve weeks) and first half (24 weeks) of fiscal 2013, ended February 17, 2013. Net sales for the quarter increased eight percent, to $24.34 billion, from $22.51 billion last year. Net sales for the first half increased nine percent, to $47.55 billion, from $43.69 billion last year.

Comparable sales were as follows:

                                      12 Weeks      24 Weeks
                                   ------------- -------------
              U.S.                       5%            6%
              International              6%            7%

              Total                      5%            6%
                                   ============= =============

Inflation in gasoline prices and stronger foreign currencies had positive impacts on comparable sales for both reporting periods. Excluding these effects, comparable sales were as follows:

                                      12 Weeks      24 Weeks
                                   ------------- -------------
              U.S.                       5%            6%
              International              4%            5%

              Total                      5%            5%
                                   ============= =============

Net income for the quarter was $547 million, or $1.24 per diluted share, compared to $394 million, or $.90 per diluted share, last year. Net income was positively impacted by a $62 million ($0.14 per diluted share) tax benefit in connection with the portion of the special cash dividend paid by the Company in December 2012 to the Company 401(k) plan participants. Net income for the first half was $963 million, or $2.19 per diluted share, compared to $714 million, or $1.62 per diluted share, last year.

Costco currently operates 622 warehouses, including 448 in the United States and Puerto Rico, 85 in Canada, 32 in Mexico, 23 in the United Kingdom, 13 in Japan, nine in Taiwan, nine in Korea and three in Australia. The Company plans to open up to an additional fourteen new warehouses prior to the end of its fiscal year on September 1, 2013. Costco also operates electronic commerce web sites, at www.costco.com (U.S.), www.costco.ca (Canada), and www.costco.co.uk (United Kingdom).

A conference call to discuss these second quarter operating results is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. (PT) today, March 12, 2013, 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), energy, and certain commodities, 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
                (dollars in millions, except per share data)

                                 12 Weeks Ended          24 Weeks Ended
                             ----------------------  ----------------------
                              February    February    February    February
                              17, 2013    12, 2012    17, 2013    12, 2012
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
  Net sales                  $   24,343  $   22,508  $   47,547  $   43,689
  Membership fees                   528         459       1,039         906
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
    Total revenue                24,871      22,967      48,586      44,595
  Merchandise costs              21,766      20,139      42,492      39,070
  Selling, general and
   administrative                 2,361       2,178       4,693       4,322
  Preopening expenses                 6           6          24          16
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
    Operating income                738         644       1,377       1,187
  Interest expense                  (25)        (27)        (38)        (54)
  Interest income and other,
   net                               26          10          46          47
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
INCOME BEFORE INCOME TAXES          739         627       1,385       1,180
  Provision for income taxes        185         215         410         440
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
Net income including
 noncontrolling interests           554         412         975         740
Net income attributable to
 noncontrolling interests            (7)        (18)        (12)        (26)
                             ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
 COSTCO                      $      547  $      394  $      963  $      714
                             ==========  ==========  ==========  ==========

  Basic                      $     1.26  $     0.91  $     2.22  $     1.64
                             ==========  ==========  ==========  ==========
  Diluted                    $     1.24  $     0.90  $     2.19  $     1.62
                             ==========  ==========  ==========  ==========

Shares used in calculation
  Basic                         435,975     434,535     434,698     434,374
  Diluted                       439,812     439,468     439,222     440,036

Cash dividends declared per
 common share                $    7.275  $    0.240  $    7.550  $    0.480

                        COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION
                            (dollars in millions)

Subject to Reclassifications

                                                February 17,   September 2,
                                                    2013           2012
                                               -------------- --------------

Cash and cash equivalents                      $        4,413 $        3,528
Short-term investments                                  1,238          1,326
Receivables, net                                        1,300          1,026
Merchandise inventories                                 7,582          7,096
Deferred income taxes and other current assets            577            550
                                               -------------- --------------
  Total current assets                                 15,110         13,526
Property and equipment, net                            13,386         12,961
Other assets                                              593            653
                                               -------------- --------------
TOTAL ASSETS                                   $       29,089 $       27,140
                                               ============== ==============


Short-term borrowings                          $           64 $            0
Accounts payable                                        7,441          7,303
Accrued salaries and benefits                           2,077          1,832
Other current liabilities                               2,264          2,024
Deferred membership fees                                1,199          1,101
                                               -------------- --------------
  Total current liabilities                            13,045         12,260
Long-term debt, excluding current portion               4,806          1,381
Deferred income taxes and other liabilities               955            981
                                               -------------- --------------
  Total liabilities                                    18,806         14,622
                                               -------------- --------------

Total Costco stockholders' equity                      10,112         12,361
Noncontrolling interests                                  171            157
                                               -------------- --------------
  Total equity                                         10,283         12,518
                                               -------------- --------------
TOTAL LIABILITIES AND EQUITY                   $       29,089 $       27,140
                                               ============== ==============

Costco Wholesale Corporation
Richard Galanti

Bob Nelson

Jeff Elliott

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