A rise in online sales as well as more shoppers at its US stores helped retail giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) post slightly better-than-expected fourth-quarter results.
The world’s largest retailer saw its headline net income fall to US$3.76bn, or US$1.22 cents per share in the three months to January 31, down from US$4.57bn, or US$1.43 per share at the same stage a year earlier.
Excluding exceptional items, Wal-Mart’s earnings per share was $1.30, just above the consensus estimate for US$1.29.
The firm reported its 10th straight quarter of comparable sales growth, with sales at US stores open for at least a year rising 1.8%, excluding fuel, well above forecasts for a rise of 1.3%.
However, overall revenues fell short of expectations at US$130.94bn as foreign exchange rates and food deflation weighed.
The group said it expects to earn between US$4.20 a share and US$4.40 a share in fiscal 2018, compared with an estimate of US$4.33.
Wal-Mart has been investing heavily in both its stores and e-commerce operations, which have weighed on its profitability.
Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart’s president and CEO, said: “We’re moving with speed to become more of a digital enterprise and better serve customers.”
He added: “Our international business is consistently delivering solid sales growth in constant currency, and Sam’s Club posted its best comp sales growth of the year.”
Story by ProactiveInvestors