Wal-Mart Earnings in Line with Estimates, Raises Outlook for the Year


Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) today reported second quarter sales and earnings increased in the fiscal second quarter 2011 period ended July 31, 2010.

The world's largest retailer said income from continuing operations attributable to Walmart for the quarter increased to $3.6 billion from $3.5 billion in the second quarter last year. Earnings per share from continuing operations were 97 cents, up from 89 cents in the same period last year, and in line with estimates of 97 cents per share.

Net sales for the quarter increased 2.8% to $103 billion from $100 billion in last year's period. Sales came in below consensus estimates of $105.4 billion. On a constant currency basis, consolidated net sales increased 2%. U.S. same-store sales declined 1.8% in the period.

"The slow economic recovery will continue to affect our customers, and we expect they will remain cautious about spending," said president and CEO Mike Duke in a statement. "Walmart is committed to our mission of saving people money so they can live better."

Looking ahead, "We are raising our full year guidance to a range of $3.95 to $4.05. Our teams leveraged operating expenses for the third consecutive quarter, through their commitment to the productivity loop."

For the third quarter, the company forecasts diluted earnings per share to range from 87 cents to 91 cents per share, up from an adjusted 82 cents per share last year. Analysts expect third quarter EPS of 91 cents per share. The full-year guidance is up from the previous range of $3.90 to $4.00 per share, and assumes currency exchange rates remain at current levels. Analyst consensus is $4.00 per share.

"We are raising full-year EPS guidance today due to the strength of our underlying operating performance of our first two quarters, despite the challenges facing Walmart U.S. in the short term, and the current economy," said CFO Tom Schoewe.