Costco Wholesale Corp. — which has attracted shoppers looking for cheaper options — warned Wednesday that its earnings in the current quarter will be below Wall Street expectations as it faces higher energy costs that are crimping profit margins.

Costco Wholesale Corp. — which has attracted shoppers looking for cheaper options — warned Wednesday that its earnings in the current quarter will be below Wall Street expectations as it faces higher energy costs that are crimping profit margins.

Here are the details:

Soa ring energy inflation is affecting the cost of goods, leading suppliers to push higher prices onto Costco and other retailers at a faster and higher rate in the past six to eight weeks than before, according to Richard Galanti, Costco's chief financial officer. Galanti says suppliers want increases of 5 percent to 10 percent and even more in recent weeks, compared to a range of 2 percent to 4 percent earlier in the fiscal year. Costco is trying to delay some of the price increases to help drive sales, but that comes at the expense of profit margins. Sales of gasoline, a low-profit item, are accounting for a bigger part of Costco's business. The company reported a 9 percent gain for June in sales at stores open at least a year, but excluding gas sales the increase would have been 5 percent. High energy costs have raised freight costs at all levels of the merchandise distribution chain.