Walmart Income for Fourth Quarter Down On Lower Sales

On Thursday, Walmart said its earnings for the fourth quarter were down by 7.9% because of higher operating expenses and lower sales.

The largest retailer in the world lowered its sales growth estimate for 2017, which began in February. The estimate previously had been for a 3% to 4% increase, but now the retailer sees it as being flat.

Walmart, which is based in Bentonville, Arkansas, reported $4.57 billion in net income for its three-month period, which ended on January 31 in comparison to one year ago during the same period of $4.97 billion.

Earnings per share, after making an adjustment for certain items were $1.49 compared to one year ago for the same period of $1.61. That beat estimates on Wall Street of $1.44.

Total revenue reached $129.7 billion, which was an increase of 1.4%. Analysts were expecting revenue to be $103.4 billion.

After making adjustments for exchange rates for currency in the different countries in which Walmart has operations, total revenue reached $134.4 billion, which represented a 2.2% increase.

Net sales dropped 1.5% to just over $128.6 billion, which was attributable to the international stores’ performance. International sales at Walmart were down for the quarter to $32.7 billion, which represented a drop of 9.7%.

After making an adjustment for exchange of currency, sales for its international stores would have increased by 3.3% to over $37.4 billion, said the retailer.

A number of retailers have been hit with bad fourth quarters due to warm weather. However, sales from the store in the U.S. for Walmart that have been operating for a minimum of 13 months increased for the sixth straight quarter.

Comparable sales of its neighborhood markets were up by almost 7%.

Doug McMillon the Walmart CEO said through a prepared statement that momentum is being seen it the U.S. business and the company continues to lap the positive comps and the international business is growing and healthy.

With increased competition through online retailers, the retailer has worked on improving its customer experience in its stores and developing different ways to integrate in-store and online shopping, like pickup at curbside for online grocery orders.

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