Wal-Mart U.S.'s Q2 Financials Mark 6th Straight Quarter Without Growth

Wal-Mart U.S.'s Q2 Financials Mark 6th Straight Quarter Without Growth

BENTONVILLE, AR - The release of Wal-Mart U.S.'s Q2 financial report on Thursday marked the warehouse giant's 6th straight growthless quarter, disappointing investors in the retail market.

According to a press release, comparative sales were stagnant as were the comparative sales numbers for Sam's Club which, after subtracting fuel, were flat despite a 11.9% increase in membership income during the quarter. This led to a decrease in diluted earnings per share for continuing operations compared to last year, which fell from $1.23/share to $1.21/share.

While acknowledging the struggles Wal-Mart has faced over the last quarter, company President and CEO Doug McMillon struck a positive note.

Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart President and CEO“I’m pleased with our solid earnings per share performance,” he said. “As it relates to the positives from the quarter, I’m encouraged by the performance of our International business, our Neighborhood Market sales in the U.S. and by our e-commerce growth. As it relates to our challenges in the quarter, we wanted to see stronger comps in Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club, but both reported flat comp sales. Stronger sales in the U.S. businesses would’ve also helped our profit performance.”

We see opportunities to improve in merchandising, pricing and store level service in our supercenters, and we are working to close those gaps,” added McMillon. “Our investments in e-commerce and mobile are very important, as the lines between digital and physical retail continue to blur. Our customers expect a seamless experience, and we’re working to deliver that for them around the world.”

According to Fortune, Wal-Mart is citing the rising cost of health care as the chief reason for these poor economic numbers as well as its decision to cut its forward looking guidance for the rest of the year to $4.90-5.15 earnings per share from continuing operations, compared to its earlier estimate of $5.10-5.45.

These numbers seem dreary, but I can see what could be the foundation for Wal-Mart U.S.'s turnaround in its Q2 report.

AndNowUKnow has previously covered Wal-Mart's expansion plans for its Neighborhood Market and Wal-Mart To Go locations. According to Wal-Mart's Q2 press release, comparative sales for these Neighborhood Market locations actually rose by a healthy 5.6%.

Perhaps these growth numbers are why Wal-Mart's stock has held steady despite the disappointing overall report, holding firm at $74.14/share, a 0.15% increase during Thursday morning's trading (as of 1pm EST on August 14th).

Whether the growth of its smaller store formats will prove to be Wal-Mart U.S.'s path back to overall company growth is a question for the future. It is however certainly a welcome sign.