Walmart's Earnings Reveal Two Positive Takeaways: Ecommerce & International Sales


by IBTimesTV

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Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT), the world’s largest retailer, saw first-quarter fisacal 2014 earnings rise just over 1 percent as the company reported slightly stronger revenue amid continued challenges for its lower-income customers.

Same-store sales in the U.S. fell for the first time in seven quarters after delays in income tax refund checks, challenging weather conditions, and tax hikes from the payroll tax increase.

But Wal-Mart did see two positives: the company’s international sales and its e-commerce. International Sales increased by almost 3 percent, while the company’s market share increased in a majority of the counties where the retailer operates. 

The second significant item is e-commerce.  The retailer recently announced plans to expand its e-commerce services this summer by placing lockers in stores for customers to pick up items they ordered from the company online.

For the quarter, Wal-Mart reported a profit of $1.14 a share, down slightly from analysts’ expectations of $1.15 a share.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $114.19 billion, missing the $116.29 billion expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

After the bell on Thursday, Retailers J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) and Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) will also reporting earnings.

Struggling retailer J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE: JCP) reports first-quarter earnings Thursday, and analysts forecast that the company will likely miss estimates after it posted a disappointing performance in the last quarter.  The company’s poor sales results revealed that customers were unhappy with its new pricing mechanism. The Zacks consensus analyst estimate is currently at a loss of $1.17 a share with revenue likely to decrease 13.7 percent year-over-year to $2.72 billion for the quarter.  For the year, revenue is projected to come in at $12.3 billion.

Finally, high-end department store Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE: JWN) is expected to record single-digit profit and revenue growth on a percentage basis after the retailer has benefited from revived demand for its designer merchandise. Analysts are expecting Nordstrom to report earnings of 76 cents per share, up 8.6 percent from a year ago when it reported earnings of 70 cents per share. Revenue for the quarter is projected to finishing at $2.8 billion.