Walmart reports Q4 profit miss, guides for ‘slight’ earnings decline

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Walmart Inc.
WMT,
+1.06%
shares fell 4.9% in Thursday premarket trading after the retail giant reported a fourth-quarter earnings miss and gave weak guidance. Net loss totaled $2.09 billion, or 74 cents per share, after net income of $4.14 billion, or $1.45 per share, last year. Adjusted EPS of $1.39 missed the FactSet consensus for $1.51. Revenue of $152.08 billion was up from $141.67 billion and beat the FactSet consensus for $148.51 billion. Walmart U.S. comp sales rose 8.6%, ahead of the FactSet consensus for 5.6%. E-commerce sales were up 69%. COVID-related costs were $1.1 billion in Q4. Fiscal 2022 capital investments are expected to be nearly $14 billion, including continued automation and building supply chain capacity. The company will also give raises to 425,000 associates, with the average associate wage to rise above $15. And it has raised its annual dividend for fiscal 2022 by 2% to $2.20. Walmart has also approved a $20 billion stock buyback plan. Walmart expects fiscal 2022 comp sales growth in the low-single digits excluding fuel at Walmart U.S. Sam’s Club comp sales are expected to rise in the low-single digits excluding fuel and tobacco. The company is guiding for EPS to decline slightly, though it’s expected to be flat-to-up slightly excluding divestitures. The FactSet consensus is for Walmart U.S. comp sales decline of 0.1% and EPS of $5.75, suggesting 3% growth. Walmart is also hosting its investor event on Thursday. The company’s stock has gained 23.1% over the past year while the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.29%
is up 8.1% for the period.

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