Walmart Inc. reported fourth quarter earnings that fell short of what analysts’ expected. While the retail giant faced a charge linked to taxes in the United Kingdom, it still generated record sales of more than $150 billion.
The company’s adjusted earnings for the three months ended in January came in at $1.39 per share, one penny up from the same period last year and below the consensus forecast of $1.50 per share. The company said a decision to repay property tax relief in the U.K., linked to its ASDA division, reduced earnings by 7 cents per share.
Revenues rose +7.3% from the year-ago quarter to $152.08 billion, topping analysts' estimates of $148.3 billion. U.S. same-store sales grew + 8.6% year-over-year, above the Refinitiv forecast of 5.8%.
e-Commerce sales climbed +69% on the quarter and +79% for the 2020 year.
Looking ahead, Walmart expects 2022 financial year sales to rise by only low single digits, and operating income and earnings to be flat to up slightly.
The company plans to raise average employee wages to $15 per hour and expand total capital expenditures to $14 billion.