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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT)

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  • Aug. 14, 2013, 11:09 AM
    • Wal-Mart (WMT -0.3%) reports Q2 earnings today tomorrow as the string of retailers (Macy's, Costco, American Eagle Outfitters, etc.) either disappointing in Q2 or warning on H2 continues to grow.
    • Analysts expect the retailer to record sales of $118.7B and see EPS of $1.25, a consensus that has drifted lower over the last few months.
    • If the company is able to surprise for the quarter, it could be improved sales and margins on groceries that does the trick. Prices have been slowly increased for products from private-label Great Value, according to a Raymond James survey.
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  • Aug. 13, 2013, 9:37 AM
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  • Aug. 12, 2013, 11:14 AM
    • Earnings reports this week from Wal-Mart (WMT +0.6%), Nordstrom (JWN +1.9%), and Macy's (M -0.9%) have heightened importance due to the storm clouds which seem to be gathering over consumer spending for the second half of the year.
    • What to watch: Wal-Mart's forecast for Q2 same-store sales is fairly wide at 0% to 2%, a dip into negative territory could turn sentiment south in a hurry. The word "promotional" could spook investors of Macy's and Nordstrom, while commentary from all three retailers on early back-to-school sales trends will be critical for sentiment sector-wide.
    • Related ETFs: XRT, RTH, PMR, RETL
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  • Aug. 12, 2013, 6:53 AM
    • Wal-Mart (WMT) unit Massmart looks poised to make an acquisition in Kenya.
    • Speculation on the target includes several well-known chains in the nation.
    • Massmart saw H1 sales growth cool off to 5.5% after cruising at a 7.3% clip a year ago.
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  • Aug. 11, 2013, 2:32 AM
    • Wal-Mart (WMT), outdoor retailer Cabela's (CAB) and start-ups are among those that offer pet insurance, an industry that's worth almost $500M.
    • With spending on vet care forecast to rise 4% this year to $14.2B, and just 1% of the nation's 160M cats and dogs insured, there's plenty of room for growth. The annual rate is 13%.
    • Even some employers offer animal healthcare as a perk, including one-third of Fortune 500 companies.
    • Animal pharmaceutical providers that could benefit include Zoetis (ZTS), Pfizer (PFE), Merck (MRK), MWI Veterinary Supply (MWIV) and VCA Antech (WOOF).
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  • Aug. 8, 2013, 11:15 AM
    • Disappointing retail sales numbers for July, on weak mall traffic in particular, has analysts reconsidering how to forecast back-to-school sales.
    • Though the office supply group (SPLS, OMX, ODP) and big-box retailers (COST, WMT, TGT) may survive the season intact as parents buy staples, apparel sellers (ZUMZ, GPS, LTD, JCP, M, AEO) are at risk of seeing estimates taken lower on the discretionary side.
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  • Aug. 7, 2013, 12:28 PM
    • Wal-Mart (WMT -0.7%) says it will make changes at over 2,850 stores in order to improve safety conditions for employees who use trash compactors and cleaning chemicals after it ran afoul of OSHA rules.
    • The company will also pay a pittance, $190K, in fines to the Labor Department.
    | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 7, 2013, 12:04 PM
    • The slash in profit guidance from American Eagle Outfitters (AEO -3.2%) earlier this week seems to have set off a ripple effect that is still spreading.
    • Yesterday, it was mall-based retailers which took it on the chin and today Deutsche Bank is out with lowered comparable-store sales estimates for Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS -1.2%), Kohl's (KSS -1.2%), Target (TGT -0.4%), J.C. Penney (JCP -3.2%), and Staples (SPLS -1.4%).
    • Boutique firm Cleveland Research - which has a solid history of calling out moves in Wal-Mart's (WMT -0.8%) sales trends - is reported to have turned negative on the retailing giant.
    • The S&P Retail ETF (XRT) is off 1.7% after falling back yesterday too.
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  • Aug. 7, 2013, 2:35 AM
    • Wal-Mart (WMT) is reportedly considering participating in an auction for Hong Kong supermarket chain ParknShop, which is valued at up to $4B by owner Hutchison Whampoa (HUWHF.PK).
    • The deadline for initial offers is August 16, with KKR (KKR) among those invited to bid; Blackstone (BX) has held talks with banks about financing.
    • Wal-Mart, which has over 380 stores in China, could use ParknShop as a platform to expand in the country. The latter operates 345 outlets in Hong Kong, mainland China and Macau, and generated revenue of HK$21.7B ($2.8B) last year.
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  • Aug. 2, 2013, 2:31 PM
    • Wal-Mart (WMT +0.5%) says it will expand its Scan-and-Go mobile checkout program in the near future.
    • Though the company notes the feature allows shoppers to avoid time-consuming lines, it also cuts down costs for Wal-Mart and gives it a treasure trove of consumer preferences data to mine.
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  • Jul. 30, 2013, 3:40 PM
    • A study from Experian Marketing Services suggests online back-to-shoppers will flock to J.C. Penney's (JCP -1.6%) website this summer
    • The inclusion of the embattled retailer is a minor surprise with the company's online sales extraordinarily weak over the last year compared to peers.
    • Macy's (M -0.3%), Wal-Mart (WMT -0.1%), and Staples (SPLS +2.1%) were the other top picks of digital back-to-school shoppers.
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  • Jul. 24, 2013, 4:01 PM
    Wal-Mart Labs (WMT -0.4%) acquires website optimization startup Torbit as it tries to keep pace with Amazon. Every extra second a website takes to load is a potential loss of business and Torbit's Site Optimization technology should help improve customer experience no matter whether they shop through desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. (PR)
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  • Jul. 19, 2013, 8:31 AM
    Jefferies hikes its price target on a "transitioning" Best Buy (BBY) from $31 to $35 representing a 21% upside from Thursday's close as analyst Daniel Binder weighs in on the Q2 outlook for retailers following perceived "strength on pent-up demand" in May and early June. Binder says HD and LOW "look strongest" while KSS and DLTR "could get to the high end of plan [and] WMT should show improvement in food."
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  • Jul. 15, 2013, 9:03 AM
    More on June Retail Sales: Strength in autos buoys the June number while demand for building materials & garden equipment (HD, LOW, WMT), as well as sales at grocery stores (KR, SVU, SWY) and restaurants looks weak. As Bloomberg notes, receipts at restaurants and bars had their worst drop in more than five years.
    | 2 Comments
  • Jul. 15, 2013, 7:19 AM
    Loblaw's (LBLCF.PK) C$12.4B ($11.93B) acquisition of Shoppers Drug Mart (SHDMF.PK) will create a company that generates over C$42B a year and comes amid increasing competition from Target (TGT) and Wal-Mart (WMT). "With scale and capability, we will be able to accelerate our momentum and strengthen our position in the increasingly competitive marketplace," says Loblaw Executive Chairman Galen Weston. (PR)
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  • Jul. 12, 2013, 1:45 PM
    Remember when Wal-Mart (WMT -0.2%) was supposed to crush regional grocery store chains into submission? Though the Bentonville giant accounts for a formidable 30% of all grocery sales in the U.S., regional brands such as Hy-Vee, Piggly Wiggly, and Save-A-Lot (SVU) to name a few have survived primarily on brand loyalty. The trend adds logic to the decision by Kroger (KR) to keep its chain distinct from Harris Teeter (HTSI).
    | 7 Comments
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Company Description
Wal-Mart Stores Inc, operates retail stores in various formats under various banners. Its operations comprise of three reportable business segments, Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club in three categories retail, wholesale and others.