Costco Wholesale Corp.'s net income was $951 million in the second quarter ended Feb. 14 compared with $931 million a year ago. Analysts estimated a profit of $2.45 per share.

The membership-only retail chain Costco Wholesale Corp. reported mixed financial results for the second quarter of its current fiscal year - with earnings per share missing analysts' estimates, according to filings and news reports Friday.

However, sales exceeded forecasts and comparable revenue grew faster than projected as the company's e-commerce sales rose 76% - benefiting from a robust holiday season and a continuation in the stay-at-home trend during the pandemic.

Based on figures by Refinitiv IBES, the U.S. retail chain's sales climbed to $45 billion from $39.07 - exceeding Wall Street's average projection of $43.78 billion. Membership fees accounted for $880 million of all sales against $816 million a year ago.

The Issaquah, Washington-based retailer offered a premium salary to employees at the onset of the coronavirus crisis and from March increased the minimum pay for its hourly workers to $16 - a dollar more than what its rivals Inc. and Target Corp. pay per hour.

Costco is on full gear during the pandemic as more customer dollars are getting directed toward goods rather than experiences. The company's sales have rallied nearly 12% in fiscal 2020, even though it did not invest in the curbside pickup or other strategies that would have increased operational costs.

E-commerce advanced 76% in the current quarter compared with a year ago. Comparable store revenues came in at around 13% for the quarter, with comparable sales in the U.S. rising nearly 12%, while Canada and other international locations rose 13.4% and 22%, respectively.