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Walmart Q1 EPS Up, Tops View; Sees Higher Comps In Q2


Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) reported Thursday lower net profit in its first quarter with weak international segment results. Earnings per share however, increased and topped market estimates with higher comp sales. Looking ahead, for the second quarter, the company projects higher comp sales.

In pre-market activity on the NYSE, Wal-Mart shares were gaining 2.10 percent to $76.70.

President and CEO Doug McMillon said, "We delivered a solid first quarter and we're encouraged by the start to the year. We're moving faster to combine our digital and physical assets to make shopping simple and easy for customers. Our plan is gaining traction..."

For the second quarter, the company projects earnings per share of $1.00 to $1.08, which excludes an estimated net benefit of approximately $0.05 from the sale of Suburbia, the company's apparel format in Mexico.

On average, 29 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of $1.07 per share. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

For the 13-week period ending July 28, the company projects comp sales at Walmart U.S. to grow 1.5 percent to 2.0 percent and Sam's Club to grow 1 percent to 1.5 percent, both excluding fuel.

In its first quarter, consolidated net income attributable to Walmart dropped 1.3 percent to $3.04 billion from $3.08 billion last year. Earnings per share, however, grew 2 percent to $1 from $0.98 last year, with lower share count.

Analysts expected earnings of $0.96 per share.

Operating income edged down 0.7 percent to $5.24 billion from last year's $5.28 billion, mainly reflecting lower income at international segment.

Total revenue, comprising net sales and Membership and other income, was $117.54 billion, an increase of 1.4 percent from last year's $115.90 billion. Excluding currency, total revenue increased 2.5 percent.

Analysts were looking for revenues of $117.7 billion for the quarter.

Net sales grew 1.3 percent to $116.53 billion, and Membership and other income climbed 10.7 percent.

In the quarter, Walmart U.S. net sales grew 2.9 percent from last year to $75.44 billion, and comp sales without fuel increased 1.4 percent, on top of a 1 percent rise last year. With fuel, Walmart U.S. comp sales grew 1.5 percent.

The positive results were driven by a traffic increase of 1.5 percent, while ticket dropped 0.1 percent. Comp traffic increased 3.0 percent on a two-year stacked basis. E-commerce growth at Walmart U.S. was strong

Net sales at Walmart International were $27.1 billion, a decrease of 3.5 percent. Excluding currency, net sales edged up 0.8 percent.

At Sam's Club, net sales increased 2.8 percent from last year to $13.99 billion, and comp sales without fuel increased 1.6 percent. With fuel, comp sales grew 3 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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