With low bar to clear, just a glimmer of good news could coax Wal-Mart buyers

|By:, SA News Editor

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.