TURNER, Ore.—Smoke from the West Coast wildfires has tainted grapes in some of the nation’s most celebrated wine regions with an ashy flavor that could spell disaster for the 2020 vintage. Wineries in California, Oregon, and Washington have survived severe wildfires before, but the smoke from this year’s blazes has been especially bad—thick enough to obscure vineyards drooping with clusters of grapes almost ready for harvest. Day after day, some West Coast cities endured some of the worst air quality in the world. No one knows the extent of the smoke damage to the crop, and growers are trying to assess the severity. If tainted grapes are made into wine without steps to minimize the harm or weed out the damaged fruit, the result could be wine so bad that…
Costco Wholesale Corp beat estimates for quarterly profit and revenue on Thursday, as consumers staying at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic bought more fresh produce, appliances, and gardening and sporting goods.
Traffic at Costco stores also ticked up in the fourth quarter ended Aug. 30, after declining as much as about 20 percent in April, as government-imposed coronavirus restrictions eased and it brought back food samples.
Revenue from memberships, which range between $60 and $120 per year and account for most of Costco’s gross margin, rose to $1.11 billion from $1.05 billion.
Total revenue rose 12.4 percent to $53.38 billion, exceeding the average expectation of $52.08 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Excluding items, Costco earned $3.04 per share, beating estimates of $2.84 per share.
The company recorded $281 million in COVID-19-related costs as it spent more on employee bonuses and sanitation.
It had earlier projected COVID-19-related costs to exceed $100 million, but had said they would be lower than the $283 million recorded in the third quarter.
Shares of Issaquah, Washington state-based Costco, which have gained about 18 percent this year, were down 2 percent in extended trading.
By Praveen Paramasivam
Focus News: Costco Beats Estimates on Pandemic Boost
More than 300 people have been charged for committing crimes “adjacent to or under the guise of peaceful demonstrations since the end of May,” the Department of Justice announced Thursday. The crimes were committed in 29 states and Washington, authorities said. Assaulting a law enforcement officer, attempted murder, arson, and damaging federal property are among the charges filed. Approximately 80 people have been charged with offenses relating to arson and explosives; 15 have been charged with damaging federal property. Rioters inflicted millions of dollars of damage to city and federal property across the United States in recent months, including the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct, the Nashville City Hall in Tennessee, and the聽Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse, a federal building, in Portland, Oregon. Criminals have also targeted small and big businesses,…