Here's What Wall St. Experts Are Saying About Walmart Ahead Of Earnings

Walmart (WMT) is scheduled to report results of its third quarter before the market open on Tuesday, November 15, with a conference call scheduled for 8:00 am EDT. What to watch for:

GUIDANCE: In August, Walmart raised its adjusted earnings per share view for fiscal 2023 to a decrease of 9%-11% from a decline of 10%-12%, with revenue for the fiscal year up 4.5%. The company maintained its expectations for Walmart U.S. comp sales growth, excluding fuel, of about 3% in the second half of the year. For the full year, the company expects Walmart U.S. comp sales growth, excluding fuel, of about 4%. Looking to the third quarter, Walmart expects adjusted EPS down 9%-11%, with revenue up 5% and comp sales up 3%. At the time of its Q2 earnings report, Walmart said its back to school season was off to a "solid" start, but noted that its actions to improve inventory put pressure on the FY23 outlook.

Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh notes that year-to-date, Walmart's shares are meaningfully outperforming, down 3% versus a 22% decline in the S&P 500. Looking toward the upcoming print, the analyst believes Walmart is positioned to top consensus estimates. Recent data points suggest continued momentum in the grocery category helping to offset anticipated headwinds within the company's general merchandise offerings, Parikh adds.

'WARNING SHOT': Morgan Stanley analyst Simeon Gutman believes retail sales may have inflected negatively in the last several weeks and that the backdrop "appears to be weakening," calling Amazon's (AMZN) holiday quarter outlook a "warning shot for discretionary retailers." Meanwhile, Walmart and other industry giants like Target (TGT) and Amazon are taking an increasingly aggressive stance with suppliers as the economy slows, The Wall Street Journal's Sarah Nassauer and Sharon Terlep report.

OPIOID SETTLEMENT DEAL: Walmart, CVS Health (CVS), and Walgreens (WBA) are in a tentative pact to pay $12B to resolve state and local government lawsuits that accused the companies of mishandling opioid painkillers, Bloomberg's Jef Feeley reported on November 1. In October, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced a statewide agreement with Walmart to dispense naloxone to first responders across Florida. Walmart will also be paying the state of Florida $215M in funds to fight the opioid crisis, Moody said.

HIRING AND FIRING: Walmart announced in September that it will hire 40,000 associates for seasonal, full-time roles. In addition, Walmart disclosed in October that it would lay off 1,458 workers at the e-commerce fulfillment center located in Fulton Parkway in Atlanta, Georgia.

Walmart-owned Flipkart plans to cut back on M&A and hiring in order to rein in costs, The Financial Times' Benjamin Parkin and Chloe Cornish report. "We've stopped, or we've taken a pause, in these M&As," Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy told the publication. "What we've decided as a company is that in the next one to two years, we will make sure that these big investments we make see a lot of customer adoption, and then we will go to the next set of M&As." He added that Flipkart would not cut jobs, but it would hire "significantly less than the last couple of years."

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