Walmart steers through inflation, boosting profit and sales
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Walmart muscled through rising inflation and snarled global supply chains to put up strong fourth-quarter results Thursday.
The company also delivered an upbeat outlook for this year and boosted its dividend. Shares rose more than 2% before the opening bell.
Walmart used its size and clout to control prices with global inflation soaring, coordinating with suppliers to ensure price gaps with rivals where needed, CEO Doug McMillon said Thursday.
Net income reached $3.56 billion, or $1.28 per share in the quarter ended Jan. 31. Per-share earnings adjusted for one-time costs and benefits was $1.53, or 3 cents better than Wall Street expected, according to a survey by FactSet. Revenue rose 0.4% to $151.5 billion.
Last year during the same period the company lost $2.9 billion due partly to costs related to the pandemic.
Same-store sales rose 5.6% at U.S. Walmart stores, down from a 9.2% jump in the third quarter. Online growth has slowed from the pandemic-infused sprees of early 2021 and rose just 1%, down from 8% growth in the third quarter, and a nearly 70% surge in the same period a year earlier.
Walmart, the first major retailer to report quarterly results, is considered a barometer of consumer spending given its vast reach.
Retail sales in the U.S. jumped a surprisingly strong 3.8% from December to January, the Commerce Department reported this week, with robust spending almost across the board.
It was the largest month-to-month jump in spending since last March when Americans got a federal stimulus check worth $1,400.
Walmart said that sales growth in the current fiscal year will be above 3% with earnings growth in the mid-single-digit percentage range.
Walmart raised its quarterly dividend by one penny to 56 cents per share.
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