“Price will continue to be a major factor for U.S. customers over the holidays. Our strong price position and broad assortment are clear competitive advantages,” he explained. “Across all of our markets, we are seeing the same price consciousness as we do in the United States. More customers are part of a growing global middle class, looking for quality, value and a better life, and our EDLP model matters to these customers.”
Duke also noted that the company continues to invest in e-commerce to build the anywhere, anytime relationship that customers want.
“We made significant progress this quarter in enhancing our walmart.com site for U.S. customers, and we are expanding e-commerce opportunities for shoppers in our key markets, including China, the U.K. and Brazil,” said Duke. “We also increased our position in China e-commerce retailer Yihaodian to 51 percent.”
ReturnsWalmart delivered free cash flow of $7.0 billion for the nine months ended Oct. 31, 2012, compared to $3.4 billion the previous year. Return on investment (ROI) for the trailing 12 months ended Oct. 31, 2012 was 18.0 percent, compared to 18.2 percent for the same prior year period. The company’s capital discipline benefitted ROI. However, this benefit was mostly offset by currency exchange rate fluctuations. “Despite current economic conditions, we continue to produce solid operating results with strong cash flow from operations,” said Charles Holley, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “The strength of our free cash flow allows us to provide good returns to our shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.” Company updates full-year EPS guidance “Current macroeconomic conditions continue to pressure our customers,” said Holley. “The holiday season is predicted to be very competitive, but we are well prepared to deliver on the value and low prices our customers expect.