Wal-Mart: Another solid performance
August 23, 2004-- Home Textiles Today,
Helped by strong sales and lean inventories, second quarter profits at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, rose 8.5 percent, to $2.7 billion from $2.4 billion last year.
Skewing the year-over-year earnings comparison substantially, last year's bottom line included $161 million in profits from a discontinued operation — the McLane Company distribution subsidiary. Pulling McLane out of the comparison, second quarter profits from continuing operations jumped an impressive 16.1 percent, to $2.7 billion from $2.1 billion.
Helped by growth abroad and strength at Sam's Club, sales increased at a double-digit pace, rising 11.3 percent, to $69.7 billion from $62.6 billion. Same-store sales in the United States rose 4.1 percent, with strong comps at Sam's offsetting softness in the core Wal-Mart Stores. Same-store sales at Sam's rose 8.8 percent, while comps at Wal-Mart stores edged up just 3.2 percent.
Overall sales in Wal-Mart stores rose 10.2 percent, to $46.9 billion, fueled by continued expansion. Total sales at Sam's rose 10.1 percent, to $9.4 billion from $8.6 billion, driven almost entirely by rapid same-store sales growth.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
|Qtr. 7/31 (x000)||2004||2003||% chg|
|Oper. Income (EBIT)||4,404,000||3,792,000||16.1|
|Per share (diluted)||0.62||0.56||10.7|
|Average gross margin||23.2%||22.9%||--|
|Six months||2004||2003||% chg|
|Oper. Income (EBIT)||8,008,000||6,879,000||16.4|
|Per share (diluted)||1.12||0.98||14.3|
|Average gross margin||23.0%||22.7%||--|
|a-Second quarter results include a $56 million loss from the company's share in a joint venture, compared with a prior-year deficit of $41 million. Results in the prior-year quarter include $161 million in earnings from a discontinued operation, McLane Co., since sold off.|
|b-Six-month results include a $98 million loss from the company's share of a joint venture, compared with a year-before loss of $83 million. Results in the year-before first half include $193 million in earnings from a discontinued operation, McLane Co., since sold off.|