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UPDATE: Wal-Mart Posts Upbeat Q4 Earnings, Plans To Lift Wages

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) reported stronger-than-expected earnings for the fourth quarter.

The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company reported quarterly earnings of $4.97 billion, or $1.53 per share, compared to $4.43 billion, or $1.36 per share, in the year-ago period.

Its total revenue climbed 1.4% to $131.6 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $0.53 per share on revenue of $132.4 billion.

U.S. same-store sales grew 1.2%, while traffic at U.S. stores gained 1.4%.

During the year, Wal-Mart paid $6.2 billion in dividends and repurchased around 13.4 million shares for $1.0 billion.

"We had a good fourth quarter to close out our fiscal year, with underlying EPS of $1.61. Walmart U.S. delivered better than expected comp sales. Sam's Club had its best performance of the year, and Walmart International had solid sales and profitability," said Doug McMillon, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. president and CEO. "Like many other global companies, we faced significant headwinds from currency exchange rate fluctuations, so I'm pleased that we delivered fiscal year revenue of $486 billion. But, we're not satisfied."

Wal-Mart announced its plans to lift the pay of its US employees to at least $9 per hour in the first half of the current fiscal year.

For the new year, Wal-Mart projects earnings of $4.70 to $5.05 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $5.19 per share.

For the current quarter, Wal-Mart projects earnings of $0.95 to $1.10 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $1.14 per share.

Wal-Mart shares fell 1.21% to $85.25 in pre-market trading.

Posted-In: profitEarnings News Guidance


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