Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wal-Mart Sales Increase

From Reuters:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Tuesday posted higher quarterly profit after the world's biggest retailer cut prices on hot items like toys and electronics to lure customers during the holiday shopping season.

Net income rose to $3.94 billion, or 95 cents per share, in the fourth quarter that ended on January 31, compared with $3.59 billion or 86 cents per share a year ago.

Fourth quarter earnings included a boost of $98 million, or 2 cents per share, related to a tax benefit.

Excluding the benefit, analysts on average had been expecting profit of 90 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Wal-Mart's sheer size makes them an industry benchmark. According to the Yahoo Discount Retailer industry page, Wal-Mart is 66% of the industry at $202 billion and is 4 times larger than their nearest competitor target. In other words, this is a really important company.

These numbers indicate the Christmas season wasn't bad. That's good news for the economy.