Bentonville, Ark. — An improving economy and a solid positioning for the holidays is only an encore for Wall-Mart Stores, which came in earlier with record consolidated fiscal third-quarter sales and earnings.
Consolidated net sales jumped 9.7 percent in the three months, ended Oct. 31, rising to $68.5 billion from $62.5 billion year-on-year. Total U.S. comp sales edged upward 1.7 percent.
Income from continuing operations climbed 12.7 percent, hitting $2.29 billion, compared with $2.03 billion in the same period last year. Net income reached the same figures for both quarters
By individual business segment, sales at Wal-Mart locations jumped 8.3 percent in the three months, coming in at $45.9 billion, up from a year-ago $42.4 billion. Comp-store sales rose 1.3 percent.
The Wal-Mart stores segment had operating income — or income from continuing operations before unallocated corporate expenses, net interest expense, income taxes and minority interest — of $3.12 billion, an increase of 5 percent above the $2.97 billion reported in the third quarter of last year.
The Sam’s Club segment enjoyed a 5.5 percent sales increase in the third quarter, reaching $9.1 billion, up from a year-earlier $8.6 billion. Comp store sales increased 4 percent.
The Sam’s warehouse club segment notched operating income of $306 million in the third quarter, a 13.3 percent rise over the $270 million recorded in the same period in 2003.
For the nine months, consolidated Wal-Mart sales climbed 11.6 percent to $203 billion, up from $181.8 billion in the same period a year ago. Comp-store sale increased 4.1 percent.
Consolidated income from continuing operations for the nine months increased 15.7 percent to $7.1 billion, compared with a year-earlier $6.1 billion. Net income was the same for the current nine months but was $6.3 billion for the same period last year.
The Wal-Mart stores segment reported sales of $136.4 billion for the nine months, a 10.4 percent increase over the $123.6 billion recorded year-on-year. Comp-store sales rose 3.4 percent. Operating income for the nine months came in at $9.9 billion, a 9.8 percent rise over the $9 billion held down in the same period a year earlier.
Sam’s Club nine-month sales increased 8.6 percent to $27.1 billion, up from a year-ago $25 billion. Comp-store sales climbed 7.2 percent. Sam’s nine-month operating income came in at $925 million, an 18.1 percent increase over the $783 million recorded in the year-ago period.