Nat'l Retailers Report Profits In 1st Quarter

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Six leading national retailers all reported net profits in the first quarter – although some were lower than the prior year and Sears was in the black based on the sale of some operations.

Wal-Mart Stores

reported net sales for the first quarter, ended April 30, were $112.3 billion, an increase of 8.6 percent from $103.4 billion in the first quarter last year. Consolidated net income for the quarter was $3.7 billion, up 9.2 percent from the first quarter last year.

By segment, net sales for Walmart U.S., including fuel, were $66.3 billion, up 5.9 percent, and Sam’s Club were $13.9 billion, up 7.9 percent, compared with the prior year’s first quarter.

Walmart U.S. operating income was up 8.1 percent to $5.03 billion, and Sam’s Club was $490 million, up 7.7 percent compared with the prior year.

Comp sales without fuel at Walmart U.S were up 2.6 percent in the quarter, compared with a slide of 1.1 percent in the prior year. For Sam’s Club, it was up 5.3 percent compared with a gain of 4.2 percent in last year’s first quarter.

Sears Holdings

turned a profit during its fiscal first quarter based on sales of stores, but revenue was lower, with major appliances and CE sharing the blame.

Net income in the first quarter, ended April 28, was $189 million, compared with a net loss of $165 million during the prior year’s first quarter.

This year’s fiscal first quarter included gains on the sale of assets of $233 million, after tax and noncontrolling interest, from the sale of certain U.S. and Canadian stores and leasehold interests. These transactions generated approximately $440 million of cash proceeds.

Revenues decreased $270 million to $9.3 billion for the quarter, ended April 28. The decline in revenue was primarily due to the effect of having fewer Kmart and Sears full-line stores in operation, lower domestic comp-store sales for the quarter and a decline in Sears Canada’s comp-stores sales for the quarter.

Domestic comp-store sales declined 1.3 percent, comprised of declines of 1 percent at Sears Domestic and 1.6 percent at Kmart. Sears Domestic experienced an overall decrease in comp-store sales, the company said, and there were declines in major appliance and CE sales.

Sears is planning a partial spin-off of its interest in Sears Canada to shareholders, announced separately today, which would bring the ownership of SCC by Sears Holdings to 51 percent when complete.


reported net earnings for the fiscal first quarter, ended April 28, were $697 million, up 1.2 percent from the previous year, and net sales were $16.5 billion, up 6.1 percent.

In its U.S. retail segment, sales increased due to a 5.3 percent increase in comp-store sales and the contribution from new stores. Segment earnings before interest expense and income taxes (EBIT) were $1,199 million in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of 12.9 percent from $1,062 million in 2011. U.S. credit card receiveables were down 6 percent to $6.1 billion.

The Home Depot

noted sales were $17.8 billion for the first quarter, ended April 29, a 5.9 percent increase from the prior year’s opening quarter. Compstore sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 rose 5.8 percent, and comp sales for U.S. stores were up 6.1 percent.

Net earnings for the first quarter were $1.0 billion, compared with net earnings of $812 million in the same period last year.

First quarter of fiscal 2012 results reflect a benefit to earnings, net of tax, of $43 million related to the termination of Home Depot’s guarantee of a senior secured loan, the company said.


said total company sales for the first quarter, ended April 28, were $6.1 billion, a decrease of 1 percent in U.S. dollars and flat on a local currency basis compared with the first quarter of 2011.

Net income for the first quarter of 2012 decreased 6 percent year over year to $187 million.

In its North American retail segment, sales of $2.3 billion were essentially flat compared with the first quarter of 2011, Staples reported. Comp-store sales for the first quarter of 2012 were flat, as average order size and customer traffic were unchanged vs. the prior year, the chain said.

During the first quarter, the company opened three stores and closed six in the U.S., and opened one store and closed one in Canada, ending the first quarter of 2012 with 1,914 stores in North America.


reported profits were down 57 percent in the first quarter due to costs for closing 23 U.S. stores.

Net income was $4.9 million for the three months, ended March 31. Excluding the charges, earnings were $20.3 million, a 78 percent gain.

The No. 3 office-supply chain said it may close another dozen U.S. stores this year and open one or two new locations. It currently operates 874 stores domestically.

Net sales edged up 0.5 percent to $1.9 billion during the first quarter, and same-store sales slipped 2.1 percent due to reduced store transactions, the company said.

Retail sales decreased 2.7 percent to $912.3 million, reflecting the same-store sales decline, and income for the company’s retail segment was $22.8 million, or 2.5 percent of sales, compared with $25.6 million, or 2.7 percent of sales during the year-ago quarter.


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