Higher customer traffic boosts Wal-Mart's sales

Brittany BishopFeb 22, 2017

The retailer reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts' consensus estimates of $0.96 by $0.02. Fourth-quarter results also compare to consensus estimates for EPS of $1.29 and $131.22 billion in revenue.

Q4 consolidated net income attributable to Wal-Mart fell 17.9% to $ 3.8 billion from $4.6 billion in the year-ago period on a pullback from store openings. The correct version of this piece can be read at https://www.chaffeybreeze.com/2017/02/21/wal-mart-stores-inc-wmt-given-a-64-00-price-target-at-j-p-morgan-chase-co.html.

At a time when many retailers are having difficulty enticing consumers to shop in person rather than online, sales at Walmart stores in the USA that had been open at least a year rose 1.8% in the fourth quarter. The company has benefited recently from improved store operations and lower prices, but after rocky holiday-sales figures from Macy's Inc., Kohl's Corp., and Target Corp., investors were watching to see if Wal-Mart fared better than they did against Amazon.com Inc. Analysts project first-quarter earnings of $0.96 per share.

Moving faster on e-commerce is essential, but Walmart still needs to find a way to boost growth in its stores, which have better profit margins. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a 12 month low of $62.72 and a 12 month high of $75.19. In the previous quarter e-commerce sales rose 21%. Revenue, excluding currency, ticked up 3.0% to $133.6 billion.

In total, the company generated $11.9 billion in operating cash flow and returned $3.6 billion to shareholders through dividends and repurchases.

The dollar rose 0.58 percent after Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester said on Sunday that she would be comfortable raising rates if the USA economy kept performing.

The company said same-store sales rose 1.8 percent during the fourth quarter, topping Wall Street expectations. The Market Capitalization of the company stands at 216.51 Billion. Finally, Crow Point Partners LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Wal-Mart Stores during the third quarter valued at about $127,000.

Executives hold 1.08 percent of the stock. The beta, which indicates risk in relegation to the market, remained 0.13.

Besides melding its online and store businesses so shoppers can jump back and forth, Wal-Mart is has launched changes created to make its stores cleaner and its customer service friendlier and faster. For the prior year the company reported EPS of $4.59 and revenues of $482.13 billion. Wal-Mart said it's working to accelerate the integration between Wal-Mart and Jet.com, and trying to take advantage of its scale in areas like shipping and sharing its product selection.

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