Wal-Mart Stores (WMT)
Q4 2012 Pre Recorded Earnings Call
February 21, 2012 12:00 am ET
Carol Schumacher - Vice President of Investor Relations
Michael Terry Duke - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director, Chairman of Global Compensation Committee and Chairman of Executive Committee
William S. Simon - Executive Vice President, Chief Executive Officer of Walmart U S and President of Walmart U S
Previous Statements by WMT
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Charles M. Holley - Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President
Welcome to the Walmart Earnings Call for the Fourth Quarter of Fiscal Year 2012. The date of this call is February 21, 2012. This call is the property of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and it’s intended for the use of Walmart shareholders and the investment community. It should not be reproduced in any way. [Operator Instructions].
This call will contain statements that Walmart believes are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended and that are intended to enjoy the protection of the Safe Harbor for forward-looking statements provided by that act. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the use of the words or phrases anticipate, are expecting, are forecasting, assumed, can expect, committed to reducing, continuing, expect, expects, forecast, goal, guidance, includes, may be impacted, may continue to fluctuate, may fluctuate, plan, plans to growing, to open, will be, will be accomplished, will begin, will come, will continue, will deliver, will ensure, will grow, will improve, will include, will reduce, will remain and will strengthen or a variation of one of those words or phrases in those statements or by the use of words and phrases of similar import. Similarly, descriptions of Walmart's objectives, plans, goals, targets or expectations are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements made in this call discuss, among other matters, management's forecasts of Walmart's diluted earnings per share from continuing operations attributable to Walmart for the 3 months ending April 30, 2012, and the year ending January 31, 2013, and the assumption underlying such forecasts that currency exchange rates will remain at current levels. And the comparable store sales of Walmart's, Walmart U.S. operating segment and the comparable club sales without fuel of Walmart Sam's Club operating segment for the 13-week period from January 28, 2012, through April 27, 2012.
The forward-looking statements include statements discussing management's expectations regarding Walmart's effective tax rate for fiscal 2013, that Walmart's tax rate may fluctuate from quarter-to-quarter and the factors that may impact such tax rates. The growth in Walmart's net sales in square footage in fiscal 2013, Walmart's capital expenditures in fiscal 2013, Walmart making investments where Walmart can better serve its customers and provide returns to its shareholders; that the Walmart International operating segment will improve returns; Walmart continuing to lead on low prices; that margins will decline as investments in low prices and other operating initiatives are put into place; Walmart delivering on a mission to help its customers save money; Walmart's goal for reducing of operating expenses as a percentage of sales over the next 5 years and making related investments in technology and improved productivity; Walmart continuing to invest in right talent and capabilities relating to Global eCommerce; and Walmart continuing to develop and attract the best global talent.
The forward-looking statements discuss management's plans and expectations that the Walmart U.S. operating segment will invest more in lower prices; have its positive trends in performance continue in fiscal 2013; continue to build on its previous price investment; continue to improve on shelf availability; be committed to grow through new Supercenters and smaller formats; will have an inventory focused to have the right inventory position to drive sales; in fiscal 2013, will add new retail space within a certain range and new units within a range; will remain efficient in capital standing by lowering remodel and construction costs and will continue to help customers adapt to certain trends.
The forward-looking statements discuss management's plans and expectations as to the following matters regarding the Walmart International operating segment: That it's Powered by Walmart initiatives will strengthen productivity and reduce expenses in the segment's markets and that such initiatives will help address inventory management concerns; the segment's plans to improve its returns; certain savings achieved by investments in technology and improved productivity helping to increase the segment's profitability; the segment's objective of driving aggressive growth while improving its return on investment; the segment's plans for the increase in square footage in its existing markets; the segment beginning to attract more customers in its Brazilian operations; the segment beginning to see certain programs of its ASDA operations show up in other markets; and the growth of square footage in its Canadian operations and assumptions underlying that expectation.
The forward-looking statements discuss management's plans and expectations as to the following matters regarding the Sam's Club operating segment: The segment's momentum from fiscal 2012 continuing in fiscal 2013; the segment's operations team ensuring that members will have a great experience in the clubs by continuing to optimize staffing and ensuring that associates are well-trained and the number of units, including new units to be opened by the segment in fiscal 2013.
The forward-looking statements also discuss the anticipation and expectations of Walmart and its management as to other future occurrences, trends and results. All of these forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties and other factors, domestically and internationally, including general economic conditions; economic conditions affecting specific markets in which we operate; competitive pressures; inflation and deflation; consumer confidence, disposable income, credit availability, spending patterns and debt levels; the seasonality of Walmart's business and seasonal buying patterns in the United States and other markets; geopolitical conditions and events; weather conditions and events and their effects; catastrophic events and natural disasters and their effects on Walmart's business; public health emergencies; civil unrest and disturbances and terrorist attacks; commodity prices; the cost of goods Walmart sells, transportation cost, the cost of diesel fuel, gasoline, natural gas and electricity, the selling prices of gasoline; disruption of Walmart supply chain, including transport of goods from foreign suppliers; information security costs; trade restrictions; changes in tariff and freight rates; labor costs; the availability of qualified labor pools in Walmart's markets; changes in employment laws and regulations; the cost of health care and other benefits; casualty and other insurance costs; accident-related costs; the cost of construction materials; the availability of acceptable building sites for new stores, clubs and facilities; zoning, land use and other regulatory restrictions; adoption of or changes in tax and other laws and regulations that affect Walmart's business, including changes in corporate tax rates; developments in and the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings to which Walmart is a party or a subject; currency exchange rate fluctuations; changes in market interest rates; conditions and events affecting domestic and global financial and capital markets; the unanticipated need to change Walmart's objectives and plans and other risks. Walmart discusses certain of these matters more fully in its filings with the SEC, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and the information on this call should be read in conjunction with that Annual Report on Form 10-K and together with all of Walmart's other filings made with the SEC through the date of this call, including its quarterly reports on form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K. We urge you to consider all of these risks, uncertainties and other factors carefully in evaluating the forward-looking statements made in this call. Because of these factors, changes in facts, assumptions not being realized or other circumstances, Walmart's actual results may differ materially from anticipated results expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements.