Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today reported financial results for the first quarter ended April 30, 2014.
Consolidated net sales for the first quarter were $114.2 billion, an increase of 0.8 percent over last year. This quarter included the negative impact of approximately $1.6 billion from currency exchange rate fluctuations. Excluding currency,
net sales would have increased 2.1 percent to $115.7 billion. Membership and other income increased 4.8 percent versus last year. Total revenue was $115.0 billion, an increase of approximately $0.9 billion, or 0.8 percent.
Consolidated net income attributable to Walmart was $3.6 billion, a decrease of 5.0 percent. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations attributable to Walmart were $1.10, or 3.5 percent below last year's $1.14. The company estimated that EPS was adversely affected by approximately $0.03, due to lower net sales and higher direct costs associated with more severe weather than last year.
Weather impacted sales and expenses
"Walmart's first quarter net sales increased 0.8 percent over last year. Like other retailers in the United States, the unseasonably cold and disruptive weather negatively impacted U.S. sales and drove operating expenses higher than expected," said Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. president and chief executive officer.
"Walmart's underlying business is solid, and I'm confident in our long-term strategies. We'll continue to invest in price and enhance our service to improve sales," added McMillon. "We remain focused on growth across the enterprise, especially in small formats like Neighborhood Market in the U.S."
The company continued its significant investment in e-commerce initiatives, including the global technology platform, and sales worldwide rose approximately 27 percent.
"We have the opportunity to create transformative growth through stronger e-commerce capabilities," said McMillon. "Our investments are focused on improving customer experience and fulfillment capacity. We're working to deliver a relevant, personalized and seamless customer experience across all channels to further grow sales."