Wal-Mart turns sales around, but profit falls short
The retailer finally stops a slide in US revenue and is positioning itself for a strong holiday.
The retailing giant has finally ended nine straight quarters of falling U.S. sales. For the third quarter, same-store sales rose 1.3% -- more than analysts expected.
Even during the quarter, it was unclear whether Wal-Mart would be able to stop that slide.
Post continues below.
The company had said that things could go either way, projecting same-store sales that could be down 1% to up 1%. Analysts were expecting a 0.3% gain.
Sales also beat expectations, rising 8.2% from the year-ago period to $109.5 billion. Wall Street was looking for $108.9 billion. The profit picture was not as rosy, falling nearly 2.9% to $3.3 billion, or 96 cents a share, for the quarter ended Oct. 31. Analysts were expecting 98 cents a share.
Wal-Mart suffered this year as unemployment lingered above 9%. The company's core base of working-class shoppers has struggled in the fitful economic recovery, with many still without work or living from paycheck to paycheck.
The company lost customers to dollar stores and supermarkets. Part of that exodus was its own fault, as Wal-Mart moved away from its everyday low pricing strategy to one that promoted specific items. The company has since returned to the everyday-low-prices model.
Wal-Mart also alienated customers in a move to declutter stores. The company pulled merchandise that shoppers had grown accustomed to, which backfired.
The company seems determined to continue improving same-store sales in the holiday quarter. It has launched a price-matching program for shoppers who find better merchandise deals at other stores. It's also testing small pop-up shops with display items that can be ordered at the store from walmart.com.
For the full year, Wal-Mart gave an earnings outlook of $4.45 to $4.51 a share from continuing operations. That's slightly lower than the $4.50 that analysts were expecting.
Walmart is one of the welfare corporate mamas. It's one of the country's biggest employers, yet provides the vast number of its employees no benefits and minimum pay. Local and state governments pick up the slack in its employees' meager pay and lack of health care. In other words the taxpayer takes care of its employees so that it can make more profits! It is a wonderful example of corporate welfare!
It played a key role in outsourcing millions of manufacturing jobs in the last 20 years, being the primary cheerleader in sending those jobs straight to China and the Far East. It first encouraged and later cajoled its suppliers to manufacture anywhere but in the U.S. So it helped eliminate jobs that once paid living wages and provided pensions and health care to millions of Americans who didn't work for it! The U.S. garment industry is hardly even a ghost of itself. Numerous other consumer products manufacturers no longer produce here. This outsourcing spilled over into other heavier industries.
We have nothing to thank Walmart and its right wing radical Walton slave drivers for, except the mess that this country is in. They are one of the major reasons for it. As far as I am concerned, they are the most un-American company out there. The Waltons are traitors to the American people. Too bad their sales don't dive even faster than what they are!
If you shop at Walmart, you may as well ship your money straight to the Chinese government!
There should be NO ONE shopping at walmart due to the way theytreat their employees and customers.
Walmart is a bad company, depriving their employees of good pay, benefits, health care and they practice discriminatory practices as we all know
The only thing I buy at Walmart are groceries that cost more elsewhere. Except for their meat. I don't know what they do to it, but hamburger can sit in the fridge for a week and never spoil or change color. That's scary.
Don't know if they take suggestions, but I think it would help if they bought little markers to stick on their shelves in front of items made in the U.S.A....I doin't hate foreign products, but I do care about the people who live down the road from me...I'd rather buy something made from my neighbors, friends, and relatives who live down the road from me. I'd rather support them through a job than through unemployment benefits.....just a thought
It is time for American companies to become patriotic again!
Sam Walton must be flipping in his grave over what has happened to his creation, "Wal-Mart". When he was alive, he would only feature goods made in America. Now that his offsprings took over the operation, they are doing just the opposite, supplying products made outside our country.
People complain about not having jobs, or we are sending jobs outside the US, but the first thing they do is run/rush to Wal-Mart and purchase this foreign junk. Thanks to the NAFTA agreement signed by clinton, our nation is now overrun with foreign made products and junk.
It amazes me that the majority of our automobiles are actually made in Mexico and Canada. I'm talking about Ford, GM and Chrysler vehicles, mainly passenger cars, when there are many Japanese vehicles completely made in the US which pay good wages to their workers, often equivalent to union wages.
Most folks here in the US don't realize that Mexico has a low unemployment rate, around 5% when I last checked, thanks to our NAFTA agreement. But then you ask why do we have so many illegal's coming from that country. The reason is, is because the uneducated and criminal element, not all, are the bulk of those coming to the US to find work. In Mexico, they don't put up with a child not wanting to learn and disrupt classes, etc. If your don't want to learn, you get kicked out of school and can't get an education. In Mexico, to get any kind of job, you must have at least a high school education, otherwise you're out of luck in the job market.
There is another thing that most people don't realize. It cost a minimum of $10,000 for a foreigner to go through the proper channels to gain citizenship in the US. This is another reason we have so many illegal's here. They can't afford to pay the cost to become a citizen of the US.
Most US citizens don't realize that a simple item made in the US creates many, many jobs. A simple item creates jobs because the machinery, steel, material, etc, etc, etc to make a product has to be created to manufacture such goods, but greed and political buyouts keeps companies importing junk to shove down our throats.
You can blame our politicians, both the Dems and Repubs, for the mess our country is in. I say, get rid of the political parties and let individuals run on their own merit/s if they want to become a politician.
China will continue to be a player in undermining the world economy by decreasing the value of its currency "and" because corporations around the world continue to buy those cheap products, thus enabling China.
In regards to de-cluttering its stores, it's mostly junk anyways. People buy many of Walmarts products are simply relocating junk from one place to another, ie, walmart to the home, then right into the landfill.
@smile934 - the reason the meat doesn't turn brown as fast is because they are packaging it with a gas ( i think its CO2), which inhibits bacteria and the meat from oxidizing / rotting if it were otherwise packaged with regular air.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
The company has made at least 4 acquisitions in the space, and few people have paid any attention.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Top Stocks provides analysis about the most noteworthy stocks in the market each day, combining some of the best content from around the MSN Money site and the rest of the Web.
Contributors include professional investors and journalists affiliated with MSN Money.
Follow us on Twitter @topstocksmsn.