BENTONVILLE, Ark., Jan. 10 -- Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported net sales for the five-week and 48-week periods ending Jan. 4, 2008, and Jan. 5, 2007, respectively, as follows (dollars in billions):
Net Sales 5 Weeks Ended Percent 48 Weeks Ended Percent 1/4/2008 1/5/2007 Change 1/4/2008 1/5/2007 Change Wal-Mart Stores $29.689 $28.127 5.6% $222.036 $209.583 5.9% Sam's Club 4.938 4.735 4.3% 41.098 38.532 6.7% International 11.970 10.130 18.2% 84.994 72.486 17.3% Total Company $46.597 $42.992 8.4% $348.128 $320.601 8.6%
Comparable store sales for the five-week and 48-week periods ending Jan. 4, 2008, and Jan. 5, 2007, respectively, were as follows:
Five Weeks Comparable Store Sales Without Fuel With Fuel Fuel Impact 1/4/2008 1/5/2007 1/4/2008 1/5/2007 1/4/2008 1/5/2007 Wal-Mart Stores 2.6% 2.3% 2.6% 2.3% 0.0% 0.0% Sam's Club 1.3% 4.7% 3.4% 4.0% 2.1% -0.7% Total U.S. 2.4% 2.6% 2.7% 2.6% 0.3% 0.0% Forty-eight Weeks Comparable Store Sales Without Fuel With Fuel Fuel Impact 1/4/2008 1/5/2007 1/4/2008 1/5/2007 1/4/2008 1/5/2007 Wal-Mart Stores 1.0% 1.9% 1.0% 1.9% 0.0% 0.0% Sam's Club 4.4% 3.1% 4.9% 2.8% 0.5% -0.3% Total U.S. 1.5% 2.1% 1.6% 2.0% 0.1% -0.1% Wal-Mart Stores
Comparable store sales during the five-week December period were driven by strengths in grocery, pharmacy and electronics.
"In a difficult retail environment, we were pleased with our comparable store sales during this period," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, Wal-Mart Stores U.S. president and chief executive officer. "Wal-Mart's food performance was very strong, which helped drive traffic to other areas of the stores.
"Our price leadership position was clear very early in the holiday season, and customers responded throughout the period to our pricing and merchandise offerings, which were supported by well-integrated advertising and in-store communications," he said. "Customers were also pleased with the improvements they saw through our faster, friendlier check-outs, as well as their overall in-store experiences. Our stores were well-merchandised and did a good job managing inventory throughout the Christmas season."
Within the food category, products related to entertaining and holiday baking performed well. Electronics was strong across the board. In apparel, sales were stronger in seasonal and licensed items. Throughout the store, seasonal merchandise driven by colder weather performed well.
Small business continued to outperform Advantage member sales at Sam's Club during the five-week period. Average ticket increases for both small business and Advantage members drove the comparable club sales increase, with traffic slightly lower than last year. Within the general merchandise areas, music, video games and ladies apparel were strengths for Sam's Club. Seasonal foods and some grocery categories performed at or above plan. Home furnishing related items did not meet expectations. Momentum built in electronics sales as the five-week period progressed.
Continued high gas prices, together with increased volumes pumped versus last year, contributed to the growth in comparable club sales with fuel.
The Company's operations in the United Kingdom, Brazil and China continued their recent positive performance during the December period. In the UK, fresh food and apparel were Asda's fastest-growing areas in the period.
A weak consumption environment in Mexico, coupled with a tough comparison for the month of December, continues to affect growth figures in that country, particularly in terms of average ticket. However, the customer count for Mexico's units continues to rise.
"During the first two months of the quarter, our comparable store sales number for U.S. operations has run at about two percent," said Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We expect to run at a similar rate for the January four-week sales period."
The January four-week period runs from Jan. 5, 2008 through Feb. 1, 2008. "We expect to be within our previously stated guidance of $0.99 to $1.03 for earnings per share from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008," Schoewe said. "However, fourth quarter earnings will be pressured by higher interest expense versus last year."
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 48-week periods ended Jan. 5, 2007 reported in this release match the comparable weeks in the retail calendar for the current fiscal year. However, these five-week and 48-week comparable store sales periods reported for last year ended on Dec. 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 January 2007 four-week period ending Feb. 2, 2007 is 2.0 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 relate to our management's expectation for comparable store sales in the United States for the January four-week reporting period to end February 1, 2008, and our management's expectations for earnings per share from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008. These statements are identified by use of the words "estimate" and "expect," in these 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 made in this release 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 it to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. -0- 01/10/2008 /CONTACT: Investor Relations, +1-479-273-8446, or Carol Schumacher +1-479-277-1498, or Media Relations, John Simley, 1-800-331-0085, all of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc./ /Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20070927/WALMARTCOMLOGO AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org PRN Photo Desk, email@example.com/ /Web site: http://www.walmartstores.com / (WMT) CO: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ST: Arkansas IN: REA SUP SU: SLS SH-JA -- LATH033 -- 4737 01/10/2008 07:32 EST http://www.prnewswire.com