PriceSmart Drops on Q1 Earnings

PriceSmart, Inc (NASDAQ:PSMT) reported upbeat earnings and sales results for its first quarter on Thursday.

The San Diego-based company announced that for the month of December 2020, net merchandise sales increased 2.8% to $372.6 million from $362.3 million in December a year earlier.

Foreign currency exchange fluctuations impacted net merchandise sales negatively by 3.1%, or $10.5 million, versus the same one-month period in the period in the prior year. There were 47 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of December 2020 and 45 warehouse clubs in operation at the end of December 2019.

For the four weeks ended December 27, 2020 , comparable net merchandise sales for the 43 warehouse clubs open at least 13 ½ full months decreased 1.7% when compared to the same period last year. Foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations impacted comparable net merchandise sales negatively by 2.9%, or $9.2 million, versus the same period in the prior year.

Said CEO Sherry S. Bahrambeygui: "In December, net merchandise sales grew despite increases in COVID-related cases and restrictions versus the prior month. Comparable sales decreased primarily in Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia where COVID cases and related restrictions were on the rise and because of sales transferred from existing clubs to newly opened clubs in Panama and Colombia.

"In December, we lost approximately 14 club days to closures where in-club shopping was prohibited.”

PSMT shares fell 48 cents Friday to $96.81,