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Retail

Walmart Posts 3.9% Increase In Comparable Sales In Q4

By Reuters
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Walmart Posts 3.9% Increase In Comparable Sales In Q4

Walmart reported a 3.9% rise in comparable sales, excluding fuel, for the fourth quarter ended 31 January, compared to LSEG estimates of 2.91%. Global e-commerce sales grew 23%.

Americans flocked to Walmart's stores to buy its low-priced and discounted products during the holiday season late last year.

However, still high interest rates and rising rents have raised concerns that consumers will remain constrained and a recovery in spending will be slower than previously expected.

Fourth quarter adjusted profit came in at $1.80 per share, compared to expectations of $1.65 per share.

Walmart said it expects consolidated net sales in fiscal 2025 to grow between 3% and 4%, largely above analysts' expectations of a 3.4% rise.

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The retailer raised its annual dividend by 9%.

'Growth Potential'

"This year’s 9% increase is the largest in over a decade, and a sign of our confidence in our growth potential and cash flow," said John David Rainey, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Walmart Inc.

Shares in the US retail giant rose 3% in premarket trading after it gave an upbeat annual sales forecast and announced its biggest dividend increase in more than a decade.

Walmart's proposed offer to buy Vizio for $11.50 per share in cash, is another bet on the retailer's fast-growing US advertising business, where ad sales rose 22% in the quarter ended 31 January and is a bigger margin driver than its traditional grocery business.

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The deal also gives Walmart access to Vizio's SmartCast operating system, through which it can rake in advertising revenue by offering its suppliers the ability to display ads on streaming devices. It also gives Walmart control of a fifth of the US television market, analysts have previously said.

"The deal makes sense," said Brian Mulberry, client portfolio manager at Zacks Investment Management, which holds Walmart shares.

"I am not at all surprised to see Walmart want to be in that same competitive arena (of retail advertising) because of just the sheer amount of dollars that are available," he said.

Earlier this month, the US retailer said it plans to open more than 150 stores over the next five years, as part of an investment in operations to stay competitive in a fast-changing retail landscape.

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