Costco appears to pay a penalty for its largesse to workers. The company's shares trade at about 20 times projected per-share earnings for 2004, compared with about 24 for Wal-Mart
Sam's Club has a "cost advantage" over Costco, she adds, because it can "leverage efficiencies" from Wal-Mart in areas such as merchandise sourcing and logistics, keeping basic membership fees a third cheaper than Costco's.
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