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A woman shops at a Costco Wholesale Corp. store in East Peoria, Illinois.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A woman shops at a Costco Wholesale Corp. store in East Peoria, Illinois.

Tougher sales comparisons and food price deflation at Costco will cut into performance in 2019, according to Citigroup, which downgraded the membership-only retailer to neutral on Monday.

For fiscal year 2019, which for Costco ends in August, Citigroup projects earnings per share of $7.72, up 8.6 percent year over year and below consensus estimates of $7.74.

Currency pressure could be a sustained challenge, while gasoline said could be a lower contributor to reported same-store sales growth. “This is occurring as Costco implements wage increases and continues to invest in price, potentially pressuring margins,” the analyst added.

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