Consolidated net income attributable to Walmart was $4.1 billion, up 1.3 percent. Diluted earnings per share attributable to Walmart (EPS) were $1.24, a 5.1 percent increase, compared to $1.18 last year. EPS for the quarter was impacted by approximately $0.01 due to a charge for a certain non-income tax matter recorded in operating expenses within Walmart International.
Solid earnings performance
"We delivered a solid increase in earnings per share for the second quarter," said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. president and chief executive officer. "Consolidated net sales and our Walmart U.S. comp were below expectations. While the retail environment was challenging across all of our markets, the Walmart U.S. and Sam's Club businesses improved comp sales from the first quarter, and the growth of International sales was consistent.
"I'm encouraged by our position to execute in the second half of the year, particularly with the steps we're taking to improve performance," said Duke. "There are areas of our business where we can do a better job, and we will. I'm confident in our associates' abilities to deliver for our customers with EDLP and for shareholders with improved expense savings."
Net sales guidance
"The retail environment remains challenging in the U.S. and our international markets, as customers are cautious in their spending. Net sales in the first six months were below our expectations, so we are updating our forecast for net sales to grow between 2 and 3 percent for the full year versus our previous range of 5 to 6 percent," said Holley. "This revision reflects our view of current global business trends, and significant ongoing headwinds from anticipated currency exchange rate fluctuations."
"Diluted earnings per share for the third quarter of fiscal year 2014 are expected to range between $1.11 and $1.16. This compares to $1.08 per share last year," said Holley. "For the full year, we are updating our EPS guidance to range between $5.10 and $5.30 per share. This compares to our previous range of $5.20 to $5.40. This guidance takes into account the challenging sales and operating environment.
"As we've seen in the past, discrete tax items have had a meaningful impact on our effective tax rate and reported results in the back half of our fiscal years. We anticipate that a wider range of between 31 and 33 percent is now possible for our full year effective tax rate, versus our previous range of 32 to 33 percent. In addition, we believe expenses for FCPA matters and compliance programs will be between $75 and $80 million for both the third and fourth quarters."
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