Wal-Mart's Stock Slumps After Sales Miss Expectations

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s stock slumped 4.2% in premarket trade Thursday, after the discount retail giant missed fiscal fourth-quarter sales expectations, offsetting a profit beat and a raised dividend. Operating income for the latest quarter fell to $6.6 billion from $7.9 billion a year ago. Earnings per share from continuing operations were $1.43, while adjusted EPS came to $1.49 to beat the FactSet consensus of $1.46. Revenue fell to $129.7 billion from $131.6 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $130.5 billion. International sales were $32.7 billion, below the FactSet consensus of $33.29 billion. Same-store sales at Walmart U.S. increased 0.6% from a year ago, but missed the FactSet consensus of 0.9% growth. "We are seeing momentum in our Walmart U.S. business as we continue to lap positive comps, and our international business is healthy and growing," said Chief Executive Doug McMillon. The company increased its annual dividend to $2 a share from $1.96 a share. The stock has gained 8.5% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost 7.2%.

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