Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Walmart Profit Fell Almost 8% in 4th Quarter

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A Walmart store in Secaucus, N.J. The company said same-store sales in the United States rose 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter.

Walmart said profit fell about 8 percent last quarter, and it lowered its sales forecast for this year, citing a strong dollar and the costs of a plan to close more than 200 stores worldwide.

Sales during the recent holiday season slowed from the third quarter, Walmart said on Thursday, and it reported fourth-quarter profit of $4.57 billion, down 7.9 percent from the same period a year ago, on declining revenue and same-store sales.

For the current fiscal year, which began this month, sales are projected to be flat, whereas previous estimates called for growth of 3 to 4 percent.

Walmart is among the big retailers struggling to adapt to the popularity of online shopping. Last month, the company announced plans to close 269 stores, including 154 in the United States, a move that will affect 16,000 workers.

“This past year has been a year of investment, operational improvement and change, even while we delivered solid growth,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and chief executive. “We do see an underlying strength in our Walmart U.S. business that wasn’t there a year ago.”

Quarterly revenue, which reached $129.7 billion, fell 1.4 percent from the year-ago period, with currency adjustments shaving off $4.8 billion.

Earnings per share were $1.43, compared with $1.53 a year ago. Costs associated with the store closings cut 20 cents off earnings per share, which was partly offset by tax-related gains of 14 cents a share.

For the full fiscal year, profit was $4.57 a share, compared with $4.99 the year before, and revenue was $482.1 billion, compared with $485.7 billion in the year-ago period.

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