There are several titans of industry in the United States whom, it seems, year-after-year, continue to grow. Walmart is one of those companies that seems to consistently grow, no matter what sort of economy we have, no matter how bad things get–people still want those “rollback” prices and that smiley-face pointing them towards deals. While it seems like this is the way things are, the truth is hat Walmart does slip occasionally.
The world’s largest retailer said it earned $5.02 billion, or $1.41 a share, last quarter, compared with a profit of $4.82 billion, or $1.26 a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.34 a share, exceeding consensus calls for $1.31.
However, Wal-Mart said its sales grew just 2.5% to $115.6 billion, trailing the Street’s view of $117.7 billion. Same-store sales slid 1.8% domestically.
While Walmart still had a very good year, this is not the 4th quarter they wanted, that’s for sure. Still, don’t expect to see Walmart panicking–they still did well on the stock market, despite lower domestic sales.
Last week an oil platform off the coast of Louisiana caught fire and tipped over into the ocean. Immediately concerns were voiced about both the cost of oil and the environmental impact of such a larger oil spill. Now it seems the Coast Guard is considering an interesting option to clean up the oil…burning the surface oil.
BP Plc, owner of the well, is spending $6 million a day trying to clean up the spill and stop the underwater flow, which continues at rate of about 1,000 barrels a day.
“We are possibly 90 days out from securing the source permanently,” Landry said. “Burns can be very effective in providing a marked and significant decrease in the amount of oil contained in a spill area.”
The Deepwater Horizon, the name of the platform, is now on the horizon of deep water, eh? It’ll be interesting to see how badly this effect oil prices, if at all.
Walmart’s CEO, Mike Duke, is the leader of one of the largest and most successful companies in the world. No pressure, right? The good news is, he gets compensated accordingly. Although his salary plummeted by 34% this year, he still made out alright.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. CEO Mike Duke received compensation worth $19.2 million in fiscal 2010, according to an Associated Press calculation. That’s down 34 percent from 2009, when he got a hefty stock award in connection with his promotion to CEO.
Duke, 60, became CEO on Feb. 1, 2009, the first day of the company’s fiscal 2010, succeeding Lee Scott. In fiscal 2010, he received a base salary of $1.2 million and a performance-based cash bonus of $4.8 million, according to a filing it made Monday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
He received $193,808 in above-market interest credited on deferred compensation under Wal-Mart Stores’ non-qualified deferred compensation plan.
The bulk of his pay came in the form of stock valued at $12.7 million at the time it was granted.
He also received other compensation worth $318,218, including $162,423 for the company’s contribution to a supplemental executive retirement plan, $85,637 for aircraft use and $45,403 for deferred compensation plan incentive payments.
Walmart has made impressive gains in market share during the recession, but like any business it has not done as well as it would have otherwise. Still, you have to appreciate the sort of innovation that allows a company to out-compete its peers during a downturn.
First Toyota announced a massive recall of vehicles over malfunctioning, “sticky”, accelerators. Now Honda is announcing a rather large recall too. Lingering concerns about malfunctioning airbags has forced them to recall a total of 800,000 vehicles. The cars are all 2001 or 2002 models, all sold in the United States.
While Honda said it’s not aware of additional incidents following the July 2009 recall, “we have concluded that we cannot be completely certain that the driver’s airbag inflator in the vehicles being added to this recall at this time will perform as designed.”
Honda said it’s encouraging owners of affected vehicles to take them to authorized dealers.
Of course, it could be worse–just ask Toyota.
PG&E is a very successful utility company, their full name being Pacific Gas & Electric Co. They announced today that they intend to purchase a large wind-generating farm in Southern California. Since PG&E is based in San Francisco, the wind-generating farm is located nearby.
PG&E bought the company from the U.S. branch of Iberdrola Renovables, Inc., a Spanish renewable energy company. The project is called the Manzana Wind Project is expected to generate up to 246 megawatts of power. As the first wind project PG&E has worked on, it indicates an openness towards alternative energy sources. Apparently this wind-farm will have the ability to fuel over 100,000 California homes per year–an incredible sum.