Costco Wholesale reported a first-quarter profit and sales that fell short of analysts' estimates, hurt by a rise in operating expenses.
Shares of the warehouse club operator, which sells everything from carrots to coffins at its cavernous stores, fell as much as 3 percent before the bell on Wednesday.
"While Costco has generally been prudent in controlling costs, Q1 selling, general and administrative (expense) was higher than we expected," Cowen and Co analyst Faye Landes wrote in a note.
(Read more: Cramer: Costco to blaze trails into new area?)
Operating expenses rose 5.5 percent to $24.3 million. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 7.2 percent.
Shares of Costco fell in pre-market trading following the report. (Click here to get the latest quotes for the company)