Walmart Offers Mixed Results, Guides Below Estimates

Source: courtesy of Wal-Mart Stores
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported third-quarter 2013 diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.08 and $113.2 billion in revenues before markets opened this morning. In the same period a year ago, the big-box retailer reported EPS of $0.97 on revenue of $109.5 billion. This morning’s results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.07 and $114.95 billion in revenue.

Walmart noted that the company’s sales for the quarter would have been $114.9 billion excluding a $1.7 billion negative impact from currency exchange rates.

The company’s CEO said:

Price will continue to be a major factor for U.S. customers over the holidays. Our strong price position and broad assortment are clear competitive advantages. Across all of our markets, we are seeing the same price consciousness as we do in the United States. More customers are part of a growing global middle class, looking for quality, value and a better life, and our EDLP model matters to these customers.

Walmart also update its fourth-quarter and full fiscal year 2013 guidance. The company now forecasts EPS of $1.53 to $1.58 for the fourth quarter ending in January. For the full year, the company narrowed its range at the top end of previous guidance and forecast EPS of $4.88 to $4.93. The consensus EPS estimate for the fourth quarter had been $1.59, and for the full year the estimate had been $4.94. The company’s CFO noted, “Current macroeconomic conditions continue to pressure our customers.”

Excluding fuel sales, Walmart’s U.S. same-store sales grew 1.7% overall, with sales growth of 1.5% at Walmart stores and 2.7% at Sam’s Club stores.

Shares are down 3.3% in premarket trading, at $68.90 in a 52-week range of $56.26 to $77.60. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $80.20 before today’s results were announced.

Paul Ausick

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