When retail giant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) delivers its third quarter earnings report before the opening bell on Thursday, the sentiment of the entire retail world will hang in the balance.
That’s because as Walmart goes, the rest of the retail sector tends to follow. Its results have even been used as an indicator of consumer sentiment, which isn’t surprising, considering it’s the world’s largest retailer with over 11,500 locations worldwide.
Analysts are expecting the Bentonville, AR-based company to deliver Q3 EPS of $0.96 on revenues of $117.8 billion, both of which would be slightly down from the year-ago period. In other words, investors will be happy if WMT produces a quarter that’s no better, but no worse, than last year’s third quarter.
The last time we heard from Walmart, at its investor day back in October, the company forecast full-year 2017 EPS of $4.15 to $4.35, which could miss the $4.33 expected by analysts. We’ll likely see an update of this guidance during tomorrow’s ensuing conference call, and WMT’s price movement will likely be heavily influenced by that update.
Speaking of WMT shares, they’ve performed very well this year, but the road hasn’t been easy. The stock suffered major corrections in May and October before making their latest run. WMT is still well off its all-time highs around $89 set back in early 2015, but a good report on Thursday could help propel the stock well back into the stratosphere.
Stay tuned tomorrow morning when we’ll bring you full coverage of Walmart’s report, including reported numbers, guidance, and analysis of what’s to come.
Wal-Mart shares rose $0.12 (+0.17%) to $71.54 in Wednesday afternoon trading. Year-to-date, WMT has gained 16.66%.