Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript

Feb 19, 2015 • 07:00 am ET


Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) Q4 2015 Earnings Conference Call - Preliminary Transcript


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Carol Schumacher

Hello, this is Carol Schumacher, Vice President of Global Investor Relations for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Thanks for joining us today. The date of this call is February 19, 2015.

This call is the property of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and is 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.

Please note that a cautionary statement regarding the forward-looking statements will be made following Charles Holley's remarks in this call. Before we get under way, we apologize for the delay in this morning's release. We normally release our earnings at 6:00 AM Central Time, or 7:00 AM Eastern. However, because we wanted to share some exciting news about our U.S. associates with them first, we delayed the release until now. So, this morning, we have several pieces of news to share with you.

First, we have details on the fourth quarter and the full year results for fiscal year 2015. Second, as we normally do, we provide guidance for the full year and the first quarter of fiscal 2016. Third as I mentioned, we're announcing a new wage structure for hourly associates in Walmart U.S. stores and Sam's Clubs. This new initiative, including training and educational programs, will affect current and future hourly associates in the United States. And last, we're announcing our annual dividend for fiscal year 2016.

You'll hear more from Doug and our leaders about each of these items. All materials related to these announcements are available on our corporate website, stock.walmart.com. For earnings, please review together the earnings press release, the transcript of this call and the accompanying slide presentation. Unit count data, which is updated monthly, are posted separately on the investors' portion of the website, under financial reporting.

As indicated last quarter, it's important to note the definition of a Neighborhood Market. Traditional Neighborhood Markets are grocery stores that average 42,000 square feet. The smaller Neighborhood Markets, range in size from 12,000 to 16,000 square feet, and are still part of a test concept and not included in comp sales.

As a reminder, for fiscal 2015 which ended January 31, 2015, we utilized a 52-week comp reporting calendar. In Q4 we reported a 13-week comp versus a 14-week comp period reported last year. Our Q4 reporting period began on November 1, 2014 and ran through January 30, 2015. Consistent with industry practice, we did not adjust the reported fiscal 2015 comps. Comps were based upon 13-week and 52-week periods, respectively, compared with 14-week and 53-week periods that we reported in fiscal 2014.

We posted a week-by-week comp reporting calendar under the comp sales link on the investors' portion of our website. Now recall that last fiscal year's earnings per share