I found various notable items in Walmart’s Q1 2017 management call transcript (pdf) dated May 19, 2016. (as well, there is Walmart’s press release of the Q1 results(pdf) and related presentation materials)
I view Walmart’s results and comments as particularly noteworthy given their retail prominence and focus on low prices. I have previously commented on their quarterly management call comments; these previous posts are found under the “paycheck to paycheck” tag.
Here are various excerpts that I find most notable:
comments from Doug McMillon, President and CEO, page 3:
We delivered comp sales of 1 percent in Walmart U.S. due to continuing traffic increases, which improved 1.5 percent this quarter. This was our 7th consecutive quarter of positive comp sales, and our 6th consecutive quarter of positive comp traffic.
comments from Brett Biggs, EVP & CFO, page 9:
Gross margin improved 44 basis points in the quarter. We delivered improved margin rates in Food, Consumables and Health & Wellness as our continued focus on reducing costs both in how we operate the business and in procuring merchandise provided benefits. In addition, transportation costs benefited from lower fuel prices, we had some improvements in shrink, and we also lapped last year’s incremental expenses related to the west coast port congestion.
comments from Brett Biggs, EVP & CFO, page 10:
Finally, as we communicated in October, price investment is always an important part of our growth plan. We began the initial phase of additional price investment late in the first quarter, lowering prices on key items in select geographies. As always, we’re committed to providing quality merchandise at a great value, using data and analytics to better serve our customers.
The Special Note summarizes my overall thoughts about our economic situation
SPX at 2047.63 as this post is written