2nd Quarter Earnings Reports

August 19, 2005 - 11:05

As the second quarter came to an end, companies crunched numbers see if they were on track. Last week, Wal-Mart and Home Depot reported their earnings as good overall but fear that gas prices might hinder the future.

Wal-Mart.Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. reported record second-quarter sales and earnings for the quarter ended July 31, 2005. Net sales were $76.8 billion, an increase of 10.2 percent over the second quarter of fiscal 2005. Net income for the quarter was $2.8 billion, an increase of 5.8 percent from $2.7 billion in the second quarter of fiscal 2005. Earnings per share were $0.67, up from $0.62 per share in the same prior year quarter.

Net sales for the six months ended July 31, 2005, were $147.7 billion, an increase of 9.8 percent over the first six months of fiscal 2005. Net income for the six months ended July 31, 2005, increased 9.3 percent to a record $5.3 billion, up from $4.8 billion in the same prior year period. Diluted earnings per share for the six months ended July 31, 2005, were $1.25, up from $1.12 in the same prior year period. Net income for the six months ended July 31, 2005, was favorably impacted by two items totaling $145 million after tax or $0.03 per share — an increase due to favorable tax resolutions of $77 million and positive legal developments of $68 million after tax.
Lee Scott, president and CEO of Wal-Mart said, "I am proud that the hard work of our associates allowed us to report another record quarter. Early in the quarter, our results were disappointing; however, July came in stronger than expected. Wal-Mart Stores did miss their plan as our customer continues to be impacted by higher gas prices, and it is difficult to improve our expense leverage in the current environment."

Total U.S. comparable sales for the quarter increased 3.5 percent, which is represented by a 3.6-percent comp increase for Wal-Mart Stores and a 2.9-percent comp increase for SAM'S CLUB. Total U.S. comparable sales for the six-month period were up 3.2 percent, which is comprised of a 3.2 percent comp increase for Wal-Mart Stores and a 3.2 percent comp increase for SAM'S CLUB.
Wal-Mart forecast earnings per share for the third quarter to come in between $0.55 and $0.59, and for the year the forecast is $2.63-2.70.

The Home Depot. The Home Depot reported second quarter net earnings of $1.8 billion, $0.82 per diluted share, up 17.1 percent, for the second quarter of fiscal 2005 compared with $1.5 billion, $0.70 per diluted share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2004.
Sales for the period increased $2.3 billion, or 11.7 percent, to $22.3 billion. Comparable store sales growth was 4.0 percent.

"I would like to thank our associates for helping us deliver solid performance during the quarter," said Bob Nardelli, chairman, president and CEO. "This quarter we demonstrated our strategy of enhancing our core through various initiatives aimed at improving store efficiency and customer service while executing on expanding our business through The Home Depot Supply to build strong, sustainable platforms for growth."

"In the second quarter we continued our focus on improving operating efficiencies and drove the highest operating margin in our company's history," said Carol Tome, executive vice president and CFO. At the end of the second quarter, the company reported total assets of $42.7 billion, total stockholders' equity of $25.1 billion and return on invested capital of 23 percent. Since the company's share repurchase program began in late 2002, the company has purchased 250 million shares, or $8.6 billion of its $10 billion share repurchase program.

The company affirmed its fiscal 2005 sales growth guidance of 9-12 percent and increased its earnings per share growth guidance from 10-14 percent to 14-17 percent.

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