This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
$1 buys you full access to ALL of TheStreet's Subscription Services! Learn More

Wal-Mart's Mixed Earnings Bag

Stocks in this article: WMTJCPTGTKSS

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The media's split personality was in full flower covering Wal-Mart's (WMT) earnings report -- and, by and large, it skipped two important factors along the way.

About that split personality. Wal-Mart's earnings were a mixed bag, tending toward the negative. But the media doesn't do complex well. Instead, as is their unfortunate tendency, many media outlets took the easier and more simplistic route: either wholly positive or all negative.

Reuters went with the headline: "Wal-Mart international growth slows, shares fall." In other words: bad to the bone.

The Associated Press, by contrast, was a Good Time Charlie: "Wal-Mart 2Q profit rises 5.7 pct, raises outlook."

In the process of veering toward extremes, neither of these news outlets managed to mention currency fluctuation or J.C. Penney's (JCP) decimation.

Currency took a toll on revenue by a count of more than $2 billion. Without the fluctuation, sales would have been nearly $116 billion, almost hitting expectations, as The New York Times was right to point out. Sales were still disappointing and evidence of a strained low-to-middle income consumer, but it's no full-fledged disaster.

There is also the matter of J.C. Penney. Wal-Mart competes with Target (TGT), Kohl's (KSS), J.C. Penney and others, but the latter has been in near free-fall recently.

Wal-Mart has obviously poached customers from J.C. Penney. Even so, Wal-Mart's results were a touch light, which says little good about the economy. It also means that Wal-Mart traders need to keep an eye peeled for J.C. Penney. If it ever does recover, Wal-Mart will suffer. If it fully implodes, that will mean added business for Wal-Mart.

It's all complex stuff. Not the media's thing.

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Fuchs appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,796.23 -13.83 -0.08%
S&P 500 2,067.22 +3.72 0.18%
NASDAQ 4,743.9990 +31.0290 0.66%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs