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Wal-Mart annual report points to sustainability progress

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Bentonville, Ark. — Global responsibility and sustainability continue to be priorities for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The company filed its proxy statement ahead of its June 5 annual shareholders meeting, and also issued its annual report, and the 2015 Global Responsibility Report and Global Compliance Program Report.

The Global Responsibility Report outlined social and environmental work over the past year. Accomplishments, according to the company, include:

• Accelerating job mobility: Last February, Walmart announced a $1 billion investment in higher wages, job training and scheduling enhancements.

• Empowering women: Since the launch of its Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative in 2011, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have made $110 million in grants to support women’s economic empowerment. In addition, Walmart has sourced $11.24 billion from women-owned businesses since 2011.

• Hiring and supporting veterans: Since Memorial Day 2013, Walmart has hired more than 77,000 veterans, nearly 16,000 as part of its Veterans Welcome Home Commitment.

• Lowering the environmental footprint of Walmart’s operations: Advancing toward goal of 100% renewable energy, Walmart continues to expand the development of on-site and off-site solar, wind, fuel cells and other technologies. Today, 26% of the company’s electricity is supplied by renewable sources.

• Reducing waste across global operations: Walmart has set a goal of creating zero waste by providing solutions to improve waste data management and reduce and divert food and materials from turning into waste. Walmart U.S. operations operational waste diversion improved to 82.4% in 2014.

Wal-Mart Stores’ annual shareholders meeting will be held on Friday, June 5, at 7:30 a.m. in Bud Walton Arena on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville.

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U.S. House passes cyber-threat information bill

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a long-awaited bill by a vote of 307-116 on Wednesday that would make it easier for private companies to share information about cybersecurity threats with the government without fear of lawsuits.

The bill must be approved by the U.S. Senate before it can be sent to President Barack Obama to sign into law. A similar measure was passed by a 14-1 vote in the Senate Intelligence Committee, and supporters say they expect strong bipartisan support in the full Senate as well.

"At some point, we need to stop just hearing about cyberattacks that steal our most valuable trade secrets and our most private information, and actually do something to stop them," said Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee and one of the measure's principal authors.

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Cabela’s beats Street with revenue and profit surges, 13 new stores planned for 2015

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Sidney, Neb. — Cabela's Inc. saw profit rise 6.9% to $27.5 million in the first quarter, topping Wall Street expectations. Revenue of $827.1 million, a 14% increase, also exceeded Street forecasts.

By segment, retail store revenue increased 18.9% to $524.4 million; direct revenue decreased 3.3% to $173.5 million; and Financial Services revenue increased 24.7% to $122.9 million.

During the period, consolidated same-store sales decreased 1.3%.

“Our new format stores continue to significantly outperform our legacy stores in sales and profit per square foot,” CEO Tommy Millner said.

Millner said the outdoor retailer plans to accelerate the pace of its new store openings.

“During the first quarter, we opened two new stores and plan to open a total of five stores in the second quarter, four stores in the third quarter, and two stores in the fourth quarter,” he said.

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