BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores here boosted its earnings guidance yesterday for the fiscal year to a range of $3.43 to $3.50 per share, compared with previous guidance of $3.30 to $3.43, citing the underlying strength of its operations. For the second quarter that ended July 31, net income jumped 16.8% to a record level of $3.5 billion, while total sales were up 10.4% to $101.6 billion. Sales at Wal-Mart’s U.S. supercenters, discount stores and Neighborhood Markets, collectively, increased 8.5% to $64.1 million, with comparable-store sales gains, excluding fuel, of 4.6%. Sales at Sam’s Club rose 8% to $12.3 billion, with comps up 3.7%. For the half, net income was up 12% to $6.5 billion, while total sales rose 10.3% to $195.7 billion. Sales at U.S. stores increased 7.6% to $123.1 billion for the half, with comps up 3.7%. Sales at Sam’s Club rose 7.8% to $23.4 billion, with comps up 3.7%. The company also said free cash flow for the half was $4.9 billion, compared with a cash-flow deficit of $773 million a year ago — a turnaround Thomas M. Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer, attributed to a solid operating performance and improved capital efficiency.
Read More of Today's Headlines