NEW YORK — Shares of Costco Wholesale Corp. took a double-digit pounding Tuesday after gross margin pressure and higher costs led it to lower its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings forecasts, despite strong net and comparable-store sales.

For the three months ending Aug. 31, the Issaquah, Wash.-based warehouse retail chain now expects to report fourth-quarter earnings per share of 46 to 48 cents. Previously, Costco had anticipated earnings of 54 to 56 cents. As a result, full-year earnings are now expected to be $1.48 to $1.50 versus the earlier guidance of $1.56 to $1.58. Last year, the firm recorded profits of 52 cents and $1.48 for the fourth quarter and full year, respectively.

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