Walmart Posts Mixed Results But Beats Wall Street

For the fourth quarter ended January 31, Wal-Mart Stores posted company net income of $3.76 billion, or $1.22 per diluted share, versus $4.57 billion, or $1.43 per diluted share, in the year-earlier period.

Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $1.30 versus $1.49 in the year-prior quarter. Adjusted diluted earnings per share exceeded a MarketBeat analyst average estimate by a penny.

Net sales were $129.75 billion and total revenues, including membership and other income, was $130.94 billion, versus net sales of $128.64 billion and total revenues of $129.67 billion in the year earlier quarter.

Without the effect of fuel price volatility, the retailer noted, Walmart U.S. comparable store sales advanced 1.8% while those for Sam’s Club gained 2.4% for a company total in the United States of 1.9%.

Broken out, Walmart U.S. sales increased 2.8% in the quarter year over year, to $83.75 billion in the quarter, while sales at Walmart international sales fell 5.1% to $31.03 billion and Sam’s Club sales gained 3% to $14.98 billion. Walmart U.S. operating income fell 2.5% to $5 billion while it slipped 8.9% at Walmart international to $1.51 billion and 8.5% at Sam’s Club to $390 million versus the period a year past. At Walmart U.S., store traffic increased 1.4% and average ticket increased 0.4%. At Sam’s Club store traffic increased 1.2% and average ticket increased 1.2%. E-commerce represented about 40 basis points of the comp at Walmart U.S. division stores, up from 30 basis points in the year-earlier quarter, while online activity represented about 80 basis points, on par with the year-before period. In Walmart U.S., strong apparel sales driven by newness and weather helped drive comps, as did newness and key items in home, seasonal and hardlines segments. At Sam’s Club, holiday events boosted comps in homelines, toys and seasonal hardware, while apparel enjoyed good results.

For the full fiscal year, Walmart Stores posted company net income of $13.64 billion, or $4.38 per diluted share, versus $14.69 billion, or $4.57 per diluted share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted diluted earnings per share were $4.32 versus $4.59 in the year-prior quarter.

Net sales were $481.32 billion and total revenues, including membership and other income, was $485.87 billion, versus net sales of $478.61 billion and total revenues of $482.13 billion in the year earlier quarter.

In a conference call, Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart CEO, said that he was particularly pleased with the traffic increases that helped drive Walmart U.S. comp store sales growth of 1.8% in the fourth quarter, which was better than expected. He pointed to a U.S. gross merchandise volume growth of 36% in the quarter as evidence that business is heading in the right direction and, in the quarter, Sam’s Club comp sales growth that came in as best of the year.

McMillon put emphasis on e-commerce efforts, discussing Marc Lore’s appointment as CEO of its U.S. e-commerce business in conjunction with the acquisition of Jet.com. In addition, he focused on the acquisitions of ShoeBuy.com and Moosejaw.com, which, with the Hayneedle.com operation that came over with Jet, give Walmart immediate expertise and capabilities in new, more upscale categories of merchandise.