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Wal-Mart Raises Full-Year Guidance, Sam's Club Drives Results

publication date: Aug 16, 2011
author/source: Valuentum Analysts

Wal-Mart (WMT) issued fiscal 2012 second-quarter results Tuesday that showed resiliency in the face of a difficult consumer spending environment. Net sales advanced 5.5% from the same period a year ago, while diluted earnings per share rose over 12% from last year’s quarter. Total US comps were flat during the period, as continued strong performance at Sam’s Club largely offset declines at Wal-Mart US, which, despite lower comps, posted its best quarterly performance since the third quarter of fiscal 2010. Impressively, Wal-Mart International increased net sales by over 16% in the quarter, a nice showing.

The retailer narrowed and raised its full-year guidance to the range of $4.41 to $4.51 per share, which implies about 8% earnings growth at the high end. We think this range is achievable, and we’re encouraged by the confidence management continues to exude in its business in the back half of this year, despite the uncertain direction of the health of the economy. Specifically, we expect continued strength in Sam’s Club and its grocery, health and wellness business (about two-thirds of sales), which may propel Wal-Mart US comps to positive territory this quarter.

All told, Wal-Mart put up a great fiscal 2012 second quarter, and its outlook for the back half of the year should reassure investors. Though we view Wal-Mart as a fantastic company, we think the firm looks fairly valued at this time. We’re also paying particularly close attention to stiff competition in the likes of Family Dollar (FDO) and Dollar General (DG), the former scooped up recently by Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B).

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