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Costco May comp sales beats market expectations

(Reuters) - U.S. warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp beat market expectations with a 13 percent rise in May same-store sales, helped by higher gasoline prices.

Analysts were expecting same-store sales to rise 11.2 pct in May, including the impact of fuel prices, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Excluding inflation in gas prices and stronger foreign currencies, sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, rose 7 percent in the month.

For the four weeks ended May 29, Issaquah, Washington-based Costco said net sales surged 17 percent to $7.14 billion.

Last week, Costco, which sells everything from gas to diamond necklaces at a discount to its members, reported a higher third-quarter profit but missed Wall Street estimates hurt by higher prices on the goods it buys and stronger sales of low-margin gas.

Shares of the company closed at $80.21 on Wednesday on Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Renju Jose in Bangalore)

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