Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) will unveil its latest earnings on Tuesday, February 21, 2012. Wal-Mart Stores operates Walmart discount stores, supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Sam’s Club locations in the United States.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of $1.45 per share, a rise of 8.2% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $4.48 per share, a rise of 10.1% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company met estimates last quarter after beating the forecasts in the prior two. In the third quarter, the company reported profit of 97 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 97 cents per share. In the second quarter, the company beat estimates by one cent.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts predict a rise of 6.8% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $124.28 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Of the 23 analysts surveyed, 13 (56.5%) rate Wal-Mart Stores a buy. This falls under the mean analyst rating of 10 competitors, which average 56.9% buy ratings.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 2.9% to $3.34 billion (96 cents a share) from $3.44 billion (95 cents a share) the year earlier, meeting analyst expectations. Revenue rose 8.1% to $110.23 billion from $101.95 billion.

Key Stats:

The decrease in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 5.7% in the second quarter, 2.3% in the first quarter and 30.7% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 5.4% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 4.3% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 2.4% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Stock Price Performance: Between November 17, 2011 and February 15, 2012, the stock price rose $5.38 (9.5%), from $56.38 to $61.76. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 10, 2012 and January 20, 2012, when shares rose for eight straight days, increasing 3.3% (+$1.97) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 22, 2011 and August 4, 2011 when shares fell for 10 straight days, dropping 8.1% (-$4.36) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com