Walmart Misses Revenues, Guides Below Consensus, Blames Fewer Government Handouts, Healthcare Costs, FX

Tyler Durden's picture

In what has become a quarterly tradition, Wal-Mart once again swung and missed, largely as expected - after all it snowed in the quarter. Just kidding. While the WMT bottom line was more or less in line, with Adjusted EPS of $1.60 beating expectations of $1.59, the world's largest retailer missed on the top line posting $129.71 billion in Q4 revenue compared to $130.24 billion expected. What also disappointed was the decline in free cash flow which dropped from $12.7 billion in 2012 to $10.1 billion in 2013. What is worse is that the company reported sliding Q4 comp store sales, which declined -0.4% with and without fuel, compared to an expectation of a +0.2% increase, and well below the 0.5% increase a year ago. But the biggest hit was in the company guidance which now expects Q1 and Full Year EPS of $1.10-1.20 and $5.45-$5.55; both below the sellside consensus of $1.24 and $5.55. Alas for Walmart, it is impossible to blame the weather for weaker upcoming results, and so the company didn't even try. Instead what the company did blame for the current and future weakness is, naturally, the economy, the weak consumer, who is now receiving less government handouts, as well as tighter credit and notably, higher healthcare costs. These combined made Walmart admit that it will be "difficult to achieve the goal we have of growing operating income at the same or faster rate than sales."

"We expect economic factors to continue to weigh on our outlook," said Holley. "Some of the factors affecting our consumers include reductions in government benefits, higher taxes and tighter credit. Further, we have higher group health care costs in the U.S. These concerns, combined with investments in e-commerce, will make it difficult to achieve the goal we have of growing operating income at the same or faster rate than sales. In October, we forecasted a 3 to 5 percent net sales increase for fiscal 2015. Given these factors and the ongoing headwind from currency exchange, we expect to be toward the low end of the net sales guidance.


"Additionally, all guidance provided today assumes currency exchange rates remain at current levels," added Holley. "If currency rates remain where they are today, net sales would be negatively impacted by approximately $3.5 billion for fiscal 2015. During the first quarter of this year, we will begin to anniversary the increased costs we incurred last year for FCPA matters, including compliance program enhancements and the ongoing investigations. We anticipate expenses for FCPA matters and compliance-related enhancements to range between $200 and $240 million for fiscal 2015."

The only good news: unlike everyone else, WMT actually does plan to boost its capex which is precisely what the US economy needs in order to actually grow in reality instead of just on manipulated paper.

The company announced plans to expand its original Walmart U.S. capital plan for this fiscal year by accelerating U.S. small store growth through Neighborhood Market and Walmart Express units.


"In October, we announced our plan to grow our U.S. store base with large and small formats," said Bill Simon, Walmart U.S. president and CEO. "Today, we are expanding on our original plans with additional small stores. We will maintain our projection for supercenter growth with approximately 115 new stores.


"Neighborhood Markets continued to deliver consistent solid comp sales growth, and customers appreciate the convenience of our small stores. They are a proven model," added Simon. "Were also pleased with how well the 20 Express stores are doing, and were expanding our pilot beyond the initial three markets. These small formats are digitally connected and provide customers convenient access to a broad assortment, including fresh, pharmacy and fuel. We will now open between 270 and 300 small format units this year, which will nearly double our fleet and fuel growth as we enter the next generation of retail."


The result of this program enhancement is an increase of $600 million to the companys total fiscal year 2015 forecast for capital expenditures. The updated range is $12.4 to $13.4 billion versus the October forecast of $11.8 to $12.8 billion.


The following tables provide an update to the companys previously provided plans for capital expenditures, net retail square footage growth and total U.S. unit growth for fiscal year 2015.

In summary: anyone hoping that WMT will boost their minimum wage is advised not to hold their breath.

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GetZeeGold's picture



I saddens me Walmart has to fall back on propaganda.


29.5 hour/week job workers have ample spending cash.....they must be shopping at Macy's these days.

Headbanger's picture

FUCK WALMART after years of making a killing on all the corporate welfare supporting them while they put millions more out of work here buying shit from China and killing Main Street merchants!

And now they have the fucking balls to blame the government when WalMart had dug their own grave along with ours!

Fuck them!!

clooney_art's picture

This great bull market will roar until there is no grass to eat.

GetZeeGold's picture



Yeah.....about that.

jcaz's picture

Wow- the resurgence of JC Penneys must really be cutting into their nut.....


GetZeeGold's picture



I think Walmart is missing on purpose to make Obamacare look bad.


Definitely some racism involved here.

Stoploss's picture

=============================FUCK WALMART=============================

XAU XAG's picture




Wal Mart 

will have a big miss when Civil war brakes out and they are looted!

max2205's picture

clean up on asile 4...opps wrong store

Colonel Klink's picture

Yeah I hate when civil war stops and they are looted.

j0nx's picture

Walmart pays health benefits to their employees? Who knew. I thought they capped their hours just below the minimum so they didn't have to but apparently that's just me?

Cattender's picture

Yes we Can! thank you Obama..

GetZeeGold's picture



We bow down to thee King Barry.....thanks for everything.....and I do mean everything.


....and a magic rule them all.

Cattender's picture

don't forget.. he gave us a phone!

GetZeeGold's picture new phone cost me 96 cents at Sams....but I do have a clear conscience.


Paying for your own phone allows you to retain a little bit of your dignity....and you tend to treat it a lot nicer when you have to pay for it yourself.

rbg81's picture

No surprise.  My guess is that 75% of Walmart's regular customers are on some type of Government assistance, especially food stamps.  Things weren't always this way.  When my local Walmart openeed in the early 1990s, most of the shoppers were middle class.  No longer.  Now they are low lifes who look like they wearing clothes out of the lost and found and take delight in screaming at the cashiers when their EBT card is tapped out.  I go very infrequently now, but whenever I do, I feel like I need a shower afterwards.  Walmart is one of the biggest corporate Welfare queens, hiding in plain sight.

duo's picture

As I said before, WMT is just a giant civilian PX.

rbg81's picture

Calling it a PX is being charitable.  Its a giant zoo with human animals feeding at the trough.

GetZeeGold's picture



Yeah...but the admission is free....and there's always someone to say hello to you.

smlbizman's picture

@rbg....we have a local grocery store...i asked the cashier, "how many people get "free" groceries, 4 out of 10, 3 out of 10?......she looked at me with a disgusted look and said..."more like 9 out of 10...

Colonel Klink's picture

At least the comparison still works because both their main patrons will die for the cause.

Headbanger's picture

I got news for you.. All those low lifes are the same middle class shoppers you  saw there 20 years ago!


rbg81's picture

I kinda doubt that--more like their children.

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

yep, thanks to our current system of .gov these fortunate people have been 'freed' from their bondage of WORK.

spiral galaxy's picture

Ok, let's play the CNBC gov propaganda game......

Food stamp cuts are gooood because that means the poor are eating less and thus are losing weight, which saves on healthcare, but subsequently their money is redirected to new clothing given their new svelte figures! So dump your WMT stock and invest in trendy & hip clothing stores -- sez Wall St savant Dougie Kass.  Meanwhile, listen up all you TV sheep, consider the positive effect of less food consumption on global warming as less packaging is consumed and ye Foodstampee's car is using less gas since they weigh less!!  Monies saved on gas can be collected as a new global warming 'prevention' tax!!! .........and thus offsets any nuclear wars that may happen, sez John "Mensa' Kerry.  Presto!  Good news!  Obama is great!  Shear brilliance!!!  /s

youngman's picture

They are a good bellwether of the bottom third of the country....when utility bills hit...Obamacare hits...and all the new fees and licenses hit....there will be less money to spend at WalMart

duo's picture

Do the "Express" stores feature a checkout line less than 20 minutes long?

Cursive's picture

Less EBT and EUB checks from Uncle Sammy.  Fucking pitiful what this country has become.

Save_America1st's picture

FUCK YOU, WALMART!!! just doesn't quite ring the same as it used to when we'd tell the Bernank to fuck off every day. 

But Ghetto-Mart still sucks ass

rsnoble's picture

Let's try the new alternative: Fuck Yellen!!!!

Headbanger's picture

Oh no!!  Please don't go there!

XAU XAG's picture



Some one will or would.............if been at sea along time and is in the right age group

XAU XAG's picture


And what hole would you choose?



rsnoble's picture

At this time of day I don't think it would matter it's wide awake.

Colonel Klink's picture

A new one in the middle of her forehead?

wmbz's picture

Get poor quick...and avoid the rush!

Johnny Cocknballs's picture

Sales may be shrinking, but not their consumer base.

I've never fucked a fatter, more ornery woman!

GrinandBearit's picture

Bitcon getting buttslammed.

Isn't that a daisy...

MFLTucson's picture

Recovery news just keeps getting better.  When will this media fraud question the clown in DC about his comments at the State of the Union when he lied to the American people?

RiverRoad's picture

When Wal Mart shoppers head for Good Will maybe it's time to finally pay attention.

Bohm Squad's picture

I hope you're not knocking Goodwill...I get all my hawaiian shirts from there.  

XAU XAG's picture












rsnoble's picture

I do my part to BK Walmart at every given chance.  

Tip in pairs and use 2 carts.  Pick the dumbest looking cashier.  Leave big items in both carts.  Roll the first car thru and interrupt their glassed over glaze and tell them you have a cart to scan.  Then roll the 2nd cart by and place it to the outside of the 1st cart.  This has a success rate of 80%+ if you do it right and if you get caught you just play stupid.  It works with 1 cart also if they're really dumb.  Just make sure another jackass employee making 25cents more an hour to supervise isn't watching and read the people behind you.

Tip no. 2........if you have a lot of animals order everything online with free shipping. FedX hates me.  I litteraly had 12 boxes show up yesterday, 6 of them were cat litter that's 180lbs(yes almost 200lbs) alone.  Brought right to the house and stacked.  I make sure I order in advance so I don't even have to pay the extra $3.50 for the faster shipping option.

Fuck Walmart at every given chance.

rsnoble's picture

Not to mention a lot of the machine parts I ship out conveniently fit right into the boxes they use to ship.

Yesterday one of the boxes smelled similar to gun powder lol maybe it was fireworks cat litter? LOL.  At any rate I always wash my hands after handling them.