Wal-Mart's 2Q Tops Estimates Despite Declining U.S. Sales


Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) posted a 5.7% increase in second-quarter profits and stronger-than-expected non-GAAP EPS on Tuesday, but the worlds largest retailer disclosed deteriorating   U.S. same-store sales.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based company also boosted its full-year financial outlook, sending its shares jumping more than 3% in the premarkets.

Wal-Mart said it earned $3.8 billion, or $1.09 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $3.6 billion, or 97 cents a share. Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.12 a share, exceeding forecasts from analysts by 4 cents.

Revenue increased 5.4% to $109.37 billion, surpassing the Streets view of $108.36 billion. International sales soared 16%, while U.S. sales grew just 1.8%. Excluding fuel, U.S. same-store sales decreased 0.9% at namesake stores. The companys Sams Club unit posted a 5% rise in same-store sales.

Im encouraged by the sales improvement in our Wal-Mart U.S. stores. Comp sales have increased sequentially month to month within the quarter, CEO Mike Duke said in a statement. In fact, this was the best quarterly performance since the third quarter of fiscal 2010.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart upped its full-year guidance, projecting EPS of $4.41 to $4.51, which compares with expectations from analysts for $4.46.

For the current quarter, Wal-Mart sees EPS of 95 cents to $1.00, compared with the Streets view of 97 cents. U.S. same-store sales at Wal-Mart are seen ranging between a drop of 1% and an increase of 1%. Sams Club U.S. same-store sales, excluding fuel, are expected to rise 3% to 5%.

Wall Street cheered Wal-Marts results and outlook, bidding its stock 3.38% higher to $51.67 ahead of Tuesdays opening bell. The stock had been off more than 7% in 2011 as of Mondays close.