by Lance Turner
Posted 5/16/2013 07:08 am
Updated 10 months ago
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville on Thursday reported a first-quarter same-store sales decline of 1.4 percent and earnings that narrowly missed analysts' expectations as its CEO cited "considerable headwinds" to top line sales.
Still, the world's largest retailer predicted a better second quarter with positive same-store sales growth.
(Click here for Wal-Mart's first-quarter earnings report.)
For the first quarter, Wal-Mart reported profit of $3.78 billion, or $1.14 per share, compared to $3.74 billion, or $1.09 per share, during the same quarter last year. Sales reached $114.2 billion, up 1.1 percent from the same quarter year.
Analysts had expected earnings per share of $1.15 and a 3 percent increase in sales to $116.4 billion. Wal-Mart said same-store sales performance was affected by a delay in income tax refund checks, "challenging weather conditions," less-than-expected grocery inflation and the payroll tax increase.
In all, same-store sales traffic was down 1.8 percent, but the average ticket total increased by 0.4 percent, the company said.
"In a quarter marked by considerable headwinds to top line sales, Walmart delivered solid [earnings per share] growth of 4.6 percent,"
Looking ahead, Wal-Mart predicted second-quarter earnings per share of between $1.22 to $1.27, which would be an increase from the $1.18 it reported in the second quarte last year.
Last year, Walmart delivered
- Once again, Wal-Mart International posted the biggest sales increase of Wal-Mart's three divisions, with net sales up 2.9 percent to
$33 billion. That figure is $33.8 billion on a constant currency basis. Wal-Mart said its internationaldivision gained market share "in a majority of the countries" in which it operates.
- Meanwhile, sales at Wal-Mart's U.S. discount stores and Sam's Clubs were flat. U.S. store sales rose 0.3 percent to $66.5 billion, and Sam's Club sales rose 0.1 percent to $13.8 billion.
- During the quarter, Wal-Mart paid
$3.8 billionto shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
- In the second quarter, Wal-Mart expects expenses related to the investigations surrounding bribery allegations in the company's international division to be between $65 million and $75 million.
- Duke said Wal-Mart's e-commerce sales grew more than 30 percent in the first quarter versus last year. "There is no doubt that our company is making the right investments in e-commerce to differentiate ourselves and become a better Walmart," Duke said. "And with our sales growth in the first quarter, we believe our investments are paying off."