Wal-Mart Posts Profits, Lower Comp-Store Sales
By Alan Wolf On Mar 12 2010 - 10:41am
BENTONVILLE, ARK. — Greater
cost controls and increased productivity
helped boost Wal-Mart’s fourth-quarter
profits by 23 percent, although U.S. sales
were flat for the year and are expected to
remain so through the current quarter.
Net income was $4.6 billion for the
three months ended Jan. 31, while net
sales rose 4.6 percent to $112.8 billion,
including a benefit of $1.9 billion from
favorable exchange rates.
For the full year, net sales rose 1 percent
to $405 billion, excluding a $9.5
billion benefit from favorable exchange
rates, and net income rose 6.4 percent to
In the U.S., Walmart’s net sales slipped
0.5 percent to nearly $71 billion for the
fiscal fourth quarter and net sales at Sam’s
Club rose 3.8 percent to $12.3 billion.
Full-year net sales at Walmart rose
1.1 percent to $258.2 billion while net
sales at Sam’s Club slipped 0.4 percent to
Comp-store sales at Walmart were down
2 percent for the quarter due to price compression in CE and groceries, and slipped
0.2 percent for the year, the company said.
Comp sales at Sam’s Club were down
0.7 percent for the quarter and up 1.4
percent for the year, excluding fuel sales.
Walmart’s operating income rose 5.4
percent in the fourth quarter to $5.6 billion,
and increased 5.2 percent for the full
year to $19.5 billion.
Operating income at Sam’s Club fell
30.4 percent in the fourth quarter to
$305 million, reflecting restructuring
charges that included the closure of 10
stores, and declined 8.1 percent for the
full year to $1.5 billion.
Looking ahead, Wal-Mart president/
CEO Mike Duke said, “U.S. sales will
be more challenging in the first quarter,
as Walmart cycles through strong year-over-
year comparisons and deflation. We
remain focused on growing top line sales,
and expect improvement in the United
States as the year progresses.” The retailer
projects comp-store sales of flat to -1
percent for U.S. Walmart stores for the
current quarter ending April 30.