Retail giant Wal-Mart WMT +0.03% (NYSE:WMT) announced Thursday that their third quarter profit had risen some 2.8 percent due to a spike in early holiday sales. Many similar retailers have posted losses in the third quarter, which makes this profitability all the more impressive. Although the Bentonville, AK based company posted these gains, their outlook for the next full year of earnings was projected far lower than many had previously suspected. This low estimation of next year’s earnings is primarily contributed to future problems that may arise with overseas manufacturers of Wal-Mart merchandise. This has many analysts suspecting that many of the overseas trade agreements that Wal-Mart holds may be up for grabs in the upcoming year, which could help their competition greatly.
Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke reported that his and the company’s main objective is to grow their bottom line and increase the presence of Wal-Mart throughout the retail world. While the retail world, both online and in traditional storefronts, remains very competitive Wal-Mart has stated that they have many strategies to keep them at the top of the retail food chain.
With the holidays rapidly approaching, many analysts suspect that Wal-Mart will be unveiling a strong campaign to get the lion’s share of holiday shoppers. As with every year, Wal-Mart heavily promotes their Black Friday sales, with one small difference this year. Usually, the day after Thanksgiving is the day when most shoppers go out to seek the hot deals, but Wal-Mart is moving their deals up one day and actually starting their sales on the day of Thanksgiving. Many analysts believe that this sales tactic will gain Wal-Mart much more business than previous years.
The fourth quarter low projections have already begun to affect the stock prices in a negative way, dropping them by nearly $.10 per share. This share drop is also contributed to Wal-Mart closing over 50 stores that were performing slowly. One thing is for certain, that the dip in stock prices is sure to rebound after the numbers are in for the holiday season. These new and revitalized holiday sales tactics are sure to gain strong holiday sales numbers and a fresh perspective on the new year.