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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
August 13, 2014
12:44 EDTWMTEarnings Preview: Wal-Mart sees Q2 EPS $1.15-$1.25, U.S. SSS flat
Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) is scheduled to report second quarter earnings before the market open on Thursday, August 14, with a conference call scheduled for 7:00 am ET. Wal-Mart, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, operates retail stores in various formats under 69 different banners in 27 countries with its "everyday low price" philosophy. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are looking for earnings per share of $1.21 on revenue of $119.0B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is $1.17-$1.24 on revenue of $117.87B-$120.3B. LAST QUARTER: Wal-Mart reported first quarter EPS of $1.10, missing estimates of $1.15, on revenue of $115B against estimates of $116.27B. The company said severe weather in the United States negatively impacted EPS by approximately 3c. U.S. same store sales were flat in the quarter. Wal-Mart forecast Q2 EPS of $1.15-$1.25 and U.S. comp store sales "relatively flat." Guidance assumed incremental investments in e-commerce, headwinds from higher health care costs in the U.S. and increased investments in Sam's Club membership programs. NEWS: In its Q1 report, Wal-Mart said forecast its full-year effective tax rate 32%-34%, and at the high end of this range for Q2. On its earnings conference call, the company said it expected its capital expenditures to be heavier in the back half of the fiscal year, citing its accelerated rollout of additional small format stores. The company also said costs from higher benefit enrollment and utilization by U.S. associates and healthcare cost inflation would be a headwind of over $300M for the FY. During the quarter, Wal-Mart named Greg Foran as president and CEO of Walmart U.S., effective August 9. The company, which acquired online product discovery community Luvocracy, was set to reduce prices on 10% more items in an effort to combat rivals and woo more customers during this year's back-to-school shopping season, according to the company's executive VP for U.S. general merchandise, Steve Bratspies. Wal-Mart's Asda unit reportedly cut 1,360 jobs as part of an overhaul of its store management structure. Neil Ashe, President & CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce, predicted that the company's e-commerce sales would reach $13B this year. CEO Doug McMillon told the Code Conference in June that the company plans to accelerate the pace of its acquisitions, calling out 3-D printing, wearable computers, connected-home devices and mobile purchasing as areas of interest. STREET RESEARCH: Baird, which sees the potential for improving fundamentals in the second half of the year, believes the company is taking the appropriate steps to grow the business long term. Jefferies downgraded its rating on Wal-Mart shares to Hold from Buy and cut its price target to $76 from $89. The firm said the retailer's investment spending may not be yielding positive results and sees risk to annual guidance from elevated expenses and lackluster sales. PRICE ACTION: Wal-Mart shares are down almost 6.5% over the last three months and are down 6% year-to-date. In early afternoon trading, Wal-Mart shares are down fractionally to $74.03.
News For WMT From The Last 14 Days
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January 21, 2015
13:38 EDTWMTEarnings Preview: eBay shares rise over 5.5% since last earnings report
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10:01 EDTWMTOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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06:52 EDTWMTWal-Mart downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley downgraded Wal-Mart to Equal Weight citing balanced risk/reward and lack of margin growth due to potential re-investments.
January 20, 2015
13:01 EDTWMTWal-Mart launches cash pickup option for tax refunds
As Americans begin to file their tax returns, Walmart (WMT) announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind service that allows consumers to “skip the check” and pick up their tax refunds in cash. Walmart Direct2Cash is available nationwide starting today and will help customers save time and money when compared to traditional tax refund options. Walmart is working with Tax Products Group, a Green Dot Company (GDOT), and Republic Bank & Trust Company, member FDIC, two providers of tax-related financial products and services, to provide Walmart Direct2Cash as an option to millions of customers. The more than 25,000 tax preparation locations using software with the Walmart Direct2Cash option may provide this service for no additional fee or charge a maximum of $7 at the time of filing. Walmart does not charge customers a fee when refunds are claimed in a store.
09:44 EDTWMTSupreme Court denies appeal of 'swipe fee' ruling, Reuters reports
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January 16, 2015
10:12 EDTWMTSprint unit Virgin Mobile to offer no contract data sharing plans
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