Walmart the latest to add charts and color to earnings release

Jun 04, 2015
<p>Time constraints on the sell side were key driver for change, says IRO</p>

Walmart Stores has become the latest company to freshen up its earnings release with color and charts. The supermarket giant’s first quarter results include bar charts, highlighted data points and pull quotes from senior management – all presented in a bright mix of blue, yellow and green.

Page 2 of Wal-Mart's release

Walmart's Q1 earnings release

Walmart made the change to help readers ‒ especially sell-siders ‒ digest the information at speed. ‘It goes without saying that today we live in a much more visual world that is very fast paced, and people want information quickly and succinctly,’ says Carol Schumacher, vice president of investor relations at the firm.

A number of retailers, including Walmart, currently report within 90 minute of each other so the new approach helps analysts grab the key figures and plug them into their models right away, she adds.

While the visual approach is new for Walmart’s results release, the company already produces stand-alone infographics covering its financial results. These are designed as long, narrow images so they can be broken up and shared on social media.

As IR Magazine reported in February, infographics are becoming increasingly popular among public companies for their results statements. GE’s fourth quarter release, for example, features charts, large stats, icons and a pull quote from CEO and chairman Jeff Immelt.

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