Wal-Mart (WMT) Shares Lower as Q4 Falls Short; Comps Post Second Qtr. of Gains

February 21, 2012 7:39 AM EST
Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) shares are trending lower before the opening bell on Tuesday following fourth-quarter results which missed Wall Street expectations on the top and bottom lines.

The retailing giant reported consolidated net sales for the quarter rose 5.8 percent from last year to $122.3 billion. This was below the Wall Street consensus of $124.26 billion.

Earnings per share from continuing operations were $1.51 in the quarter, up from $1.41 last year. Excluding net benefits of approximately $0.07 from certain tax matters and real estate transactions, the company reported EPS of $1.44, below the Wall Street consensus of $1.45.

Walmart U.S. reported positive comparable traffic, and comparable store sales rose 1.5 percent in the 13-week period ended Jan. 27, 2012. This is now the second consecutive quarter of positive comp sales for Walmart U.S.

Sam's Club comparable sales, without fuel, increased 5.4 percent for the same period.

"We are pleased with Walmart's earnings performance for both the fourth quarter and the full year," said CEO Mike Duke. "Today, every segment of our business is stronger than it was a year ago, and we’re in a great position for fiscal year 2013."

Looking ahead, Walmart sees first-quarter 2013 EPS between $1.01 and $1.06, versus the consensus of $1.05. For the full year, Walmart sees earnings per share from continuing operations between $4.72 and $4.92, versus the consensus of $4.90.

Shares of Walmart last traded at $61, down 2.4 percent from Friday's close.

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