Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. reported Thursday a profit for the second quarter that increased 5.7 percent from last year, reflecting positive comps across all three geographic business units and store formats. Further the retailer lifted its full-year earnings outlook.
For the quarter ended July 31, 2012 the world’s largest retailer reported net income of $4.02 billion or $1.18 per share for the second quarter, higher than $3.80 billion or $1.09 per share in the year-ago quarter. On average, 26 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.17 per share for the second quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.
Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 were 113.5 billion dollars, an increase of 4.5 percent from 108.6 billion dollars in the second quarter last year. Net sales for this quarter included a negative currency exchange rate impact of approximately 2.2 billion dollars. Without the currency impact, net sales would have been 115.7 billion dollars. Membership and other income increased 4.7 percent to 762 million dollars.
Walmart’s revenues for the quarter increased 4.5 percent to $114.30 billion from $109.37 billion in the same quarter last year, but missed nineteen Wall Street analysts’ consensus estimate of $115.75 billion.
Total comparable store sales grew 2.5 percent. Constant currency sales grew 4.7 percent to $115.7 billion. US comparable-store sales rose 2.2%, its fourth consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales. Wal-Mart US sales increased 3.8% to $67.3bn, while its international division saw growth of 6.4% to $32bn.
“I’m really pleased with the continued momentum in our Walmart US stores, evidenced, in part, by three consecutive quarters of positive comp traffic and four straight quarters of positive comp sales,” said president and CEO Mike Duke. ”The team is very focused on delivering broad assortment and price leadership. Walmart’s low prices drive greater customer loyalty.”
Speaking about the economic challenges facing its consumers, Duke said: “The paycheck cycle remains pronounced in the United States and in our international markets. Given continuing economic pressures, we believe that our price leadership and value are growing in importance to customers across income levels.”
Looking ahead to the third quarter, the company expects earnings from continuing operations in a range of $1.04 to $1.09 per share. Street is looking for earnings of $1.05 per share for the quarter. The company also projects comparable store sales growth for the quarter at Walmart U.S. of 1 to 3 percent, and at Sam’s Club, without fuel, of 3 to 5 percent.
For fiscal 2013, Wal-Mart raised its earnings guidance to a range of $4.83 to $4.93 per share from the previous range of $4.72 to $4.92 per share. Street is currently looking for full-year 2013 earnings of $4.93 per share.
WMT closed Wednesday’s regular trading session at $74.45, up $0.54 on a volume of 7.77 million shares. In the past 52 weeks, the stock traded in a range of $49.94 to $75.24.