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Nat’l Retailers Report Profits In 1st Quarter


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

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

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