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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT)

  • Aug. 15, 2013, 1:10 PM
    • A bright spot for some retailers this back-to-school shopping season will be school uniforms as more schools tighten up dress codes or go with a standard uniform.
    • Amid forecasts for lower overall back-to-school spending this year, parents are expected to increase spending on uniforms.
    • Specialized shops inside of stores and online promotions are becoming more common from retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT -2.6%), Target (TGT -1.5%), Lands' End, Old Navy (GPS -1.6%), and Staples (SPLS -2.8%). Niche players such as LT Apparel's are also active in the category.
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  • Aug. 15, 2013, 11:26 AM
    • Wal-Mart (WMT -1.9%) maintains it expects to see improvement in all of its segments in the back half of the year
    • In the U.S., store traffic fell 0.5% during Q2, but the company offset that to a degree with a slight uptick in average ticket price.
    • E-commerce sales were up 30% for H1, inclusive of a contribution from Yihadodian.
    • The company notes inventory rose 6.9% during Q2, due in part to a calendar effect. Though not an alarming jump, inventory will be a focus in Q3, say execs.
    • No Q&A with analysts per Wal-Mart tradition.
    • Pre-recorded earnings call transcript (.pdf)
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  • Aug. 15, 2013, 7:37 AM
    • The warning signs have been out for a few weeks, but Wal-Mart's (WMT) Q2 report confirms that consumers in the U.S. have been pulling back.
    • Though the excuses from companies vary - weather, auto purchases, payroll tax hike - the trend toward softer discretionary spending on lower traffic remains consistent.
    • Sector alert: In addition to missing analyst estimates, Wal-Mart also showed a jump in inventory levels in Q2 and warned on emerging markets.
    • On watch: Costco (COST), PriceSmart (PSMT), Target (TGT)
    • Related ETFs: XRT, RTH, PMR, RETL.
    | 1 Comment
  • Aug. 15, 2013, 7:19 AM
    • Wal-Mart's (WMT) Q2 comparable store sales growth slipped into negative territory at -0.2% after analysts forecast a 0% to 2% range. In the U.S., the drop was -1.3%.
    • Walmart International sales rose 2.9% to $33B.
    • Sams Club revenue increased 2.6% to $14.53B on a comp store sales increase of 1.7%.
    • The company sets its outlook for  FY13 EPS at $5.10 - $5.30, down from prior guidance of $5.20 - $5.40.
    • WMT -2.9% premarket.
  • Aug. 15, 2013, 7:05 AM
    • Wal-Mart (WMT): Q2 EPS of $1.25 in-line.
    • Revenue of $116.2B (+2.4% Y/Y) misses by $2.4B. (PR)
  • Aug. 15, 2013, 12:05 AM
  • Aug. 14, 2013, 5:30 PM
  • 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
    | 1 Comment
  • 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.
  • 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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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.