Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Good or Bad? Walmart (WMT) Says Things are Picking Up the Past Quarter

Back in 2007 (while the market was still "forecasting" rosy times) [Dec 6, 2007: Target Shoppers Turning into Walmart Shoppers] and first half 2008, the stock of Walmart (WMT) really took off.  This was part of our 'pooring of America' theme, as I opined the U.S. consumer was finally going to take a massive hit without the house ATM to rely on.  Let's not read 'too much' into it yet, but Walmart is out this morning with a quite positive business review - and the stock seems to be breaking out.  If the Main Street economy is improving, you don't want to see a pick up in sales at Walmart.

Via WSJ:

  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it is finally poised to end its nine straight quarters of declining sales at stores open at least a year in its core U.S. business. Executives for the world's largest retailer said during the company's annual meeting for analysts Wednesday morning that comparable store sales at U.S. Wal-Mart stores have been positive for the past three months, leaving Wal-Mart on track to report an end to its domestic slump when it discloses earnings next month.
  • "From about May we have been on an upward trend," said U.S. president Bill Simon, adding that the company has had positive comparable-store sales for the three months ending in September.
  • Chief Executive Mike Duke said the company is seeing signs of an emerging class in many developing nations, presenting opportunities for growth, yet is still seeing a depressed consumer in the U.S.  "Here in the U.S., there really is an income bifurcation," Mr. Duke said, adding, "Our customers still have concerns about jobs."

[Apr 10, 2008: Walmart Continues to Suck Wind from All Other Retailers]
[Nov 10, 2009: Walmart Executive: "There are Families Not Eating at the End of the Month"]

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