Home Boosts Walmart Q4 Sales Gains

The home department helped Walmart post net and comparable sales gains in the fourth quarter, although earnings fell short of Wall Street estimates.

In the fourth quarter, company net income was $4.14 billion, or $1.45 per diluted share, versus $3.69 billion, or $1.27 per diluted share, in the year-prior period.

Adjusted earnings per share were $1.38 versus $1.41 in the year-earlier period. The adjusted earnings per share number fell short of a MarketBeat-published analyst consensus estimate of $1.44 for the quarter.

Net sales were $140.61 billion and net revenues, including membership and other income, were $141.67 billion versus $137.74 billion and $138.79 billion respectively in the year-before quarter. Operating income was $5.32 billion versus $6.07 billion in the year-previous period.

At Walmart U.S., net sales increased 1.9% to $92.27 billion and comparable sales advanced 1.9% excluding fuel, as transactions gained 1% and average ticket gained 0.9% in the quarter year over year, with e-commerce comps up about 210 basis points in the period. Operating income slipped 12.7% to $4.4 billion.

At Sam’s Club, net sales increased 2.6% to $15.29 billion and comparable sales advanced 0.8% as transactions gained 4.3% and average ticket gained 3.5% in the quarter year over year, with e-commerce sales up about 200 basis points in the period. Operating income slipped 7.2% to $384 million versus the year-past quarter.

According to Walmart, home, electronics and seasonal performed well at U.S. namesake stores through the fourth quarter as compared to other segments, while at Sam’s, home and apparel comps increased in the low single digits during the period.

For the full fiscal year, company net income was $14.88 billion, or $5.19 per diluted share, versus $6.67 billion, or $2.26 per diluted share in the year prior. Adjusted earnings per share were $4.93 versus $4.91 in the year earlier.

Net sales in the fiscal year were $519.93 billion while net revenues were $532.96 billion versus $510.33 billion and $514.41 billion respectively in the year before. Operating income was $20.57 billion versus $21.96 billion in the year previous.