Walmart’s Q42011 Results – Comments

I found various notable items in Walmart’s Q4 conference call transcript (pdf) dated February 22, 2011.  I view Walmart’s results as particularly noteworthy given their retail prominence and focus on low prices.  I have previously commented upon their quarterly results.

Here are the excerpts, all found on pages 34-35, that I find most notable:

“The first quarter of fiscal 2012 is under way….Rising gas prices and still high unemployment levels weigh on the minds of our customers. These issues affect discretionary spending and figure into our assessment for guidance.”


“The use of government assistance programs continues to rise, and is up about 50 basis points over this time last year. Close to 80 percent of our payment mix is still made up of some form of cash, including debit cards. Credit as a form of payment has dropped from last year and is now less than 14 percent of our payment tender.”


“During the fourth quarter, inflation in dairy, meat and produce were somewhat offset by deflation in snacks, beverages and dry grocery. Weather issues have affected crop availability in produce, and we expect to see continued inflation in fresh food categories.”


“We continue to work with our suppliers to reduce inflationary pressure where possible and only pass on price increases when they cannot be avoided.”


“Last year, our 13-week comp for the first quarter declined 1.4 percent. We expect Walmart U.S. comp sales for the first quarter running from January 29, 2011 through April 29, 2011 to range from negative two percent to flat.”


A Special Note concerning our economic situation is found here

SPX at 1307.40 as this post is written