In the Nov. 14 third quarter report, Walmart also provided information on the pending sale of the Vips restaurant business in Mexico by Walmart de Mexico y Centroamerica and the possible completion of the transaction in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014. The transaction remains subject to regulatory approval and is now expected to be completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2015. Vips is recorded in discontinued operations and the estimated gain from the sale is expected to be approximately $0.06 per share.
Update on U.S. segment comp sales
Walmart also provided context for the comparable sales performance of its U.S. operating segments.
“For the 14-week period ending Jan. 31, 2014, we expect both Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club comp store sales, without fuel², to be slightly negative to the guidance provided in our third quarter report,” Holley said. “Walmart U.S. guidance on Nov. 14 was for comp sales to be relatively flat, and Sam’s expected comps, without fuel, to be between flat and 2 percent.
“Despite a holiday season that delivered positive comps, two factors contributed to lower comp sales performance for the 14-week period for Walmart U.S.,” Holley explained. “First, the sales impact from the reduction in SNAP (the U.S. government Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits that went into effect Nov. 1 is greater than we expected. And, second, eight named winter storms resulted in store closures that impacted traffic throughout the quarter.
“Sam’s Club was also impacted by the weather throughout the quarter,” Holley added.
The company will issue its detailed financial results for the fourth quarter and full year of fiscal 2014 and its expectations for fiscal year 2015 on Thurs., Feb. 20, 2014 at 7 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.
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² See additional information at the end of this release regarding the comparable sales non-GAAP financial measure.