Aug. 28, 2014, 9:18 AM
- Massmart reports 1H profit fell 26% Y/Y to 364M rand ($34.3M) on revenue of 35.8B rand ($3.37B).
- Comparable-store sales rose 7.1% during the half-year.
- The company cited a mining strike in South Africa which has impacted consumer spending for low and middle-income families.
- The South African consumer goods seller is owned by Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).
Aug. 26, 2014, 1:48 PM
- Retail sales were strong across the sector, according to ICSC.
- Wholesale clubs (COST, PSMT, WMT), dollar stores (DLTR, DG, FDO), and apparel sellers (AAP, AEO, ANF, JCP, JNY, JWN, KSS, LB, M, URBN, PSUN, BKE, WTSL, GPS) all tracked strong for the week.
- Sales for the month are forecast to rise 4% to 5%, compared to last year's 3.6% rise.
Aug. 25, 2014, 7:54 AM
- Data released by shopping tracking Retale could send a chill into the retail sector.
- A survey from the firm found that 73% of parents of school-aged children use mobile for their back-to-school shopping. Of that group, 79% buy items directly and 96% fired up mobile devices to compare prices.
- The increased reliance by consumers on price-comparison apps is seen as a margin compressor that will be nearly impossible to unwind.
- Related stocks: SPLS, ODP, TGT, WMT, AMZN.
Aug. 20, 2014, 11:28 AM
- ICSC CEO Michael Kercheval says the back-to-school season is off to a strong season (video).
- E-commerce hasn't taken control of the back-to-school spend due to social factors and tradition, according to an ICSC survey.
- Brick-and-mortar stores still have 90% BTS market share. 73% of consumers say they "webroom" (research online, buy in stores).
- Related stocks: SHLD, JCP, SPLS, ODP, WMT, COST.
Aug. 19, 2014, 9:40 AM
- Dollar Tree (DLTR +1%) might be tempted to walk away from the battle for Family Dollar (FDO +0.2%) with a $305M breakup fee sitting as a consolation prize.
- Analysts note the retail chain could use the money to buy many of the stores that regulators will force Dollar General to divest if it swallows up Family Dollar.
- Yesterday, sources at Wal-Mart (WMT -0.2%) indicated the company was likely to pass on making an offer of its own to Family Dollar.
Aug. 17, 2014, 10:21 AM
- Demand for Disney (NYSE:DIS) DVD titles is on the rise at Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) after the retail giant decided to aggressively step into a distribution void left when Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) blocked Disney DVD purchases on its website.
- Pre-orders for Captain America: The Winter Soldier soared 90% after Wal-Mart offered a price cut on the Marvel film to $14.96 vs. the list price of $14.99 on Amazon where consumers can only sign up for an e-mail notification on availability.
- Analysts note that although DVD sales are only a small piece of the e-commerce pie, any development that levels out the playing field is a boost to Wal-Mart's online brand. Global e-commerce sales rose 24% at Wal-Mart in Q2, led by double-digit growth in the U.S. and China.
- What to watch: DVD sales typically peak during the holiday shopping season giving Disney even more leverage in ongoing negotiations with Amazon over pricing.
Aug. 17, 2014, 6:47 AM
- Target (NYSE:TGT) plans to keep more than half of its U.S. stores open later starting this month, hoping to capture shoppers who put shopping off until after dark.
- TGT's 1,800 U.S. stores typically open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays, and at 9 p.m. on Sundays.
- The new extended hours start this month and will be in effect through the holidays, after which they will be evaluated.
- According to a recent survey, only 0.3% of Americans shop after 10 p.m. on a typical night.
- Rival Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) keeps 70% of its U.S. stores open 24 hours a day.
Aug. 15, 2014, 1:53 PM
- Wal-Mart (WMT -1%) plans to keep more checkout lanes open during the holiday season rush period in an effort to turn around its damaging reputation for having long lines on the weekends.
- The company will also dedicate more employee hours to overnight stocking in order to keep shelves full.
- Though the strategies could add costs, it also addresses the concern of some analysts that Wal-Mart continues to lose more "milk-and-bread" shoppers to dollar store and convenience outlets due to the time factor.
Aug. 15, 2014, 3:38 AM
- Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), (BRK.A) disclosed a $366M stake in cable TV operator Charter Communications (NASDAQ:CHTR) in the second quarter, according to a new regulatory filing. Shares of Charter have now rose more +2% in after-hours trading.
- The filing also detailed other new investments including a 1.3% raised stake in Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), and other increased holdings including IBM (NYSE:IBM) and Suncor Energy (NYSE:SU).
- However, Berkshire Hathaway reduced its stake in several companies, among them DirecTV (NASDAQ:DTV).
Aug. 14, 2014, 1:01 PM
- The dollar store group (DLTR, FDO, DG, BIG) and select grocery store chains (KR, SWY, SVU) are slight out-performers on the day after Wal-Mart's (WMT +0.1%) Q2 report indicates it lost some market share in the U.S.
- Edward D. Jones analyst Brian Yarborough attributes the limp sales growth for Wal-Mart in the U.S. to the retailer's inability to nab the quick "milk and bread" runs by consumers due to the massive size of its stores.
- That line of thought is consistent with the stronger growth numbers put up lately by convenience store operators such as Circle K (OTCPK:ANCUF), 7-11, Pantry (NASDAQ:PTRY), BP Connect (NYSE:BP), On the Run (NYSE:XOM), Speedway America (NYSE:MPC), Kwik Shop (NYSE:KR), and Qwiktrip.
Aug. 14, 2014, 12:28 PM
- Wal-Mart (WMT) doesn't give analysts a crack at its execs with a live conference calll, but did provide some commentary on a pre-recorded message.
- Despite a strong performance from the Neighborhood Markets concept during Q2, margins dipped 70 bps for Wal-Mart U.S. and comps were flat. Strength was seen in the health and wellness category, while the entertainment business was a drag.
- Sam's Club saw a gross profit rate loss of 50 bps during the quarter, of which 23 bps are attributed to the investment in Cash Rewards. Product mix and promotions were also factors.
- Wal-Mart International's strong performances in Brazil and Japan helped to offset margin pressures at Walmex and in Canada.
- Guidance includes a bump in health care costs to $500M from $330M for Wal-Mart's fiscal year.
- Earnings call transcript (.pdf)
Aug. 14, 2014, 7:38 AM
- E-commerce continues to be a growing part of the story at Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT).
- The company saw double-digit growth for the channel in the U.S., U.K., Brazil, and China. Globally, e-commerce sales were up 24% Y/Y.
- E-commerce sales added 30 bps to the comp in the U.S. during the quarter.
- Wal-Mart has e-commerce websites in 11 different countries.
- WM -0.3% premarket
Aug. 14, 2014, 7:31 AM
- Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) reports comparable-store sales were flat in Q2.
- The traffic in U.S. stores was down 1.1% and the average ticket price was down by the same level.
- Revenue for Wal-Mart International rose 3.1% to $33.9B during the period.
- The company lowers full year EPS guidance to $4.90-$5.15 from $5.10-$5.45.
- WMT -0.2% premarket
Aug. 14, 2014, 7:05 AM
Aug. 13, 2014, 6:56 PM
- Based on the rash of analyst downgrades, those who follow Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) seem to expect the wheels to fall off when the big-box retailer reports Q2 earnings tomorrow morning.
- Most closely watched will be WMT's comparable U.S. sales revenue, which has declined Y/Y for five straight quarters; management guidance has called for those sales to be relatively flat, so even tepid growth could boost sentiment.
- For the 13 quarters since FY 2012, WMT shares have fallen nine times in the following trading session, including the occasions when the result exceeded profit projections; this time, the consensus sees WMT earning $1.21/share, down from $1.24 a year before.
- At just 14x forward earnings forecasts, even a peep of positive news could bring in bargain hunters, WSJ's Spencer Jakab suspects.
Aug. 13, 2014, 5:30 PM
WMT vs. ETF Alternatives
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.
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