Stocks to watch: Wal-Mart, Home Depot

The discount chain's quarterly results fall short of expectations, while the home improvement retailer beats estimates.

By TheStreet Staff Nov 15, 2011 8:48AM

the streetBy Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet


Updated at 9:38 a.m. ET


Wal-Mart (WMT), the world's biggest retailer, posted a profit of $3.34 billion, or 97 cents a share, excluding certain items, for the quarter that ended in October. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected the company to earn 98 cents.


Home Depot (HD) said its third-quarter net income rose 12% to $934 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with $834 million, or 51 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Sales climbed 4.4 percent to $17.3 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of 59 cents a share on revenue of $17.1 billion. The company also raised its dividend by 16 cents to 29 cents a share.


Lowe's (LOW), Home Depot's main competitor, said Monday that third-quarter earnings fell 44% on charges related to store closings.


Dell (DELL) is expected by analysts to post a profit of 47 cents a share on revenue of $15.66 billion in the third quarter, after the market close on Tuesday. Analysts and investors will find out how the PC maker has been affected by shortages of hard-disk drives because of heavy flooding in Thailand.


Staples (SPLS), reported third-quarter net income of $326.4 million, or 47 cents per share, up from $288.7 million, or 40 cents, a year earlier. Revenue of $6.57 billion was higher than $6.54 billion from a year ago, but was less than analysts' forecasts for $6.71 billion. Same store sales dropped by 1%. Staples said it expects full-year earnings of $1.35 to $1.39 per share, with the high-end lowered from $1.45 in previous guidance.


TJX (TJX) said its third-quarter sales increased 5% to $5.8 billion and same-store sales rose 3%. Net income for the third quarter was $406 million, or $1.06 a share, up 15% from a year earlier. The results were in line with the analyst consensus.


Paulson & Co., the U.S. hedge fund run by John Paulson, cut its stake in the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the biggest gold ETF, during the third quarter.


Urban Outfitters (URBN) said gross margin in the third quarter declined to 35.4% from 41.1%, in part because of sales price reductions at Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters. Urban Outfitters had previously announced a management shakeup to help the struggling Anthropologie brand.


Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway initiated stakes in CVS Caremark (CVS), Intel (INTC), DirecTV (DTV) and Visa (V) during the third quarter, and added to his existing stake in Dollar General (DG).


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