Walmart (WMT) might seem like the perfect one-stop shop for back-to-school, but in reality the third quarter isn’t one of the retailer’s stronger periods. In four out of the past five years, the third quarter has been the retailer’s second-worst in terms of straight-up sales … and things get even worse when you factor in the low margins that come with a back-to-school blowout sale.
Walmart has earned its lowest unadjusted earnings during the current quarter for the past two years. Considering Bloomberg’s Kyle Stock said the big-box store is “emerging as the pricing bully in this year’s back-to-school shopping game,” I wouldn’t expect those margins to bulk up any this year.
Right now, the company’s back-to-school period is slated to earn $1.17 per share — which is actually less than a quarter of expected full-year earnings. And while that number is three cents more than the company reported in the second quarter, that’s partially because the retailer has been off to such a slow start this year.
Don’t be surprised if that analyst consensus gets lowered in coming months, as has happened with Walmart’s current quarter and full-year outlooks, which have slid 4 cents and 5 cents respectively over the past few months.