Wal-Mart Reports September Sales, Raises Quarterly Earnings Guidance

BENTONVILLE, Ark., Oct 11, 2007 -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported net sales for the five-week and 35-week periods ending October 5, 2007, and October 6, 2006, respectively, as follows (dollars in billions):

                                             Net Sales
                        5 Weeks Ended    Percent    35 Weeks Ended     Percent
                    10/5/2007  10/6/2006  Change  10/5/2007  10/6/2006  Change

    Wal-Mart Stores  $21.447   $20.159     6.4%   $154.744   $145.610    6.3%
    Sam's Club         4.066     3.807     6.8%     29.244     27.337    7.0%
    International      8.893     7.403    20.1%     57.905     49.637   16.7%
      Total Company  $34.406   $31.369     9.7%   $241.893   $222.584    8.7%



Comparable store sales for the five-week and 35-week periods ending October 5, 2007, and October 6, 2006, respectively, were as follows:


                                Five Weeks Comparable Store Sales
                       Without Fuel         With Fuel          Fuel Impact
                   10/5/2007 10/6/2006 10/5/2007 10/6/2006 10/5/2007 10/6/2006

    Wal-Mart Stores     0.8%      1.5%      0.8%      1.5%      0.0%      0.0%
    Sam's Club          4.4%      2.1%      4.1%      0.4%     -0.3%     -1.7%
      Total U.S.        1.4%      1.6%      1.4%      1.3%      0.0%     -0.3%



                             Thirty-five Weeks Comparable Store Sales
                       Without Fuel         With Fuel          Fuel Impact
                   10/5/2007 10/6/2006 10/5/2007 10/6/2006 10/5/2007 10/6/2006

    Wal-Mart Stores     0.8%      2.5%      0.8%      2.5%      0.0%      0.0%
    Sam's Club          5.1%      3.2%      4.9%      3.3%     -0.2%      0.1%
      Total U.S.        1.5%      2.6%      1.5%      2.6%      0.0%      0.0%


Wal-Mart Stores

For the September five-week period, comparable store sales at the Wal-Mart Stores segment were driven by grocery and pharmacy. The Company marked the anniversary of its $4 generic prescription program with a national expansion of additional medications available for treating even more conditions.

Overall, apparel and home remain soft. Company research reinforces that customers remain concerned about their finances, especially the cost of living. Within this environment, Wal-Mart Stores continues to reinforce its price leadership message, and during September launched its national brand advertising campaign with the new tagline "Save money. Live better."

In addition, unseasonably warmer weather in much of the country, coupled with tighter consumer spending, negatively impacted key seasonal categories.

Sam's Club

Sam's Club sales for the five-week period were driven by increases in average ticket for both business and Advantage members, with small business member sales growth continuing to lead. Sales strengths for the month included fresh food, grocery, electronics and video games. As October progresses, the clubs are transitioning into holiday entertaining in food and general merchandise.

International

During the September period, the United Kingdom, Brazil and China continued their recent positive performance. Sales throughout Brazil continue to be driven by a stronger price position, assortment that is customized to the local community and a recovery of disposable income. Macroeconomic factors continued to contribute to a slowdown in sales in Mexico.

Guidance

The Company expects the comparable store sales of its U.S. operations for the October four-week reporting period to be between flat and 2 percent, said Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer. The October four-week period runs from October 6 through November 2, 2007.

"We estimate that earnings per share from continuing operations for the third quarter of fiscal year 2008 will change from within our previously stated guidance of $0.62 to $0.65 to a range of $0.66 to $0.69," Schoewe said. "For the first two months of the quarter, we have seen improvement in initial margin and expense leverage at the Wal-Mart Stores division, which is driving this change."

As previously noted, the Company reports net sales and comparable store sales consistent with the National Retail Federation (NRF) calendar. The NRF calendar included 53 weeks for the most recently completed year, but includes only 52 weeks this year. The weekly sales information for the five-week and 35-week periods ended October 6, 2006 reported in this release match the comparable weeks in the retail calendar for the current fiscal year. However, these five-week and 35-week comparable store sales periods reported for last year ended on September 29, 2006, one week earlier.

The Company has posted on its Web site, http://www.walmartstores.com/investors, a "reclassification" document showing prior year comparable store sales re-grouped to match the comparable weeks for the current reporting calendar. The reclassified total U.S. comparable store sales for the October 2006 four-week period ending November 3, 2006 is -0.1 percent, excluding the impact of fuel.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The Company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. The Company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol WMT. More information about Wal-Mart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

This release contains statements that Wal-Mart believes are "forward- looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are intended to enjoy the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by that act. These forward-looking statements include statements as to our management's expectation for comparable store sales for the October four-week reporting period to end November 2, 2007, and our management's expectation of the Company's earnings per share from continuing operations for the third quarter of fiscal year 2008. These statements are identified by use of the words "expects" and "estimate" in the statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, domestically and internationally, including consumer spending patterns and debt levels, unemployment levels, fuel prices, inflation levels, weather conditions, competitive pressures and other risks. We discuss certain of these matters and other risk factors more fully in our filings with the SEC, including our last Annual Report on Form 10-K. This release should be read in conjunction with that Annual Report on Form 10-K and certain other Company filings with the SEC through the date of this release. The Company urges you to consider all of these risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating these forward-looking statements and not to place undue reliance on such statements. As a result of these and other matters, including changes in facts, assumptions not being realized or other circumstances, our actual results may differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements included in this release are made only as of the date of this release, and we undertake no obligation to update the forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

 
 
http://www.walmartstores.com