Back in 2007 (while the market was still “forecasting” rosy times) (link) and first half 2008, the stock of Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) really took off. This was part of our ‘pooring of America‘ theme, as I opined the U.S. consumer was finally going to take a massive hit without the house ATM to rely on. Let’s not read ‘too much’ into it yet, but Walmart is out this morning with a quite positive business review – and the stock seems to be breaking out. If the Main Street economy is improving, you don’t want to see a pick up in sales at Walmart.
- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it is finally poised to end its nine straight quarters of declining sales at stores open at least a year in its core U.S. business. Executives for the world’s largest retailer said during the company’s annual meeting for analysts Wednesday morning that comparable store sales at U.S. Wal-Mart stores have been positive for the past three months, leaving Wal-Mart on track to report an end to its domestic slump when it discloses earnings next month.
- “From about May we have been on an upward trend,” said U.S. president Bill Simon, adding that the company has had positive comparable-store sales for the three months ending in September.
- Chief Executive Mike Duke said the company is seeing signs of an emerging class in many developing nations, presenting opportunities for growth, yet is still seeing a depressed consumer in the U.S. “Here in the U.S., there really is an income bifurcation,” Mr. Duke said, adding, “Our customers still have concerns about jobs.”