The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
              FILE - This photo taken Nov. 14, 2011, shows the rain-soaked handle of a shopping cart outside the Wal-Mart store in Mayfield Hts. Wal-Mart has pulled a batch of powdered infant formula from more than 3,000 of its stores nationwide after a newborn Missouri boy who was given the formula became gravely ill with a suspected bacterial infection and died after being taken off life support, the retailer said Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)
              FILE - This photo taken Nov. 14, 2011, shows the rain-soaked handle of a shopping cart outside the Wal-Mart store in Mayfield Hts. Wal-Mart has pulled a batch of powdered infant formula from more than 3,000 of its stores nationwide after a newborn Missouri boy who was given the formula became gravely ill with a suspected bacterial infection and died after being taken off life support, the retailer said Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta, File)   

Walmart whiffs on earnings, revenue short by nearly $1 billion

Walmart, the largest U.S. retailer, missed fourth-quarter earnings by a penny even as sales improved 5.8 percent to $122.3 billion, the company said this morning.

The Bentonville, Arkansas, based company said earnings per share for the final quarter of 2011 were $1.44, when excluding one-time charges, against estimates for $1.55. For the full-fiscal year, Walmart earned $4.54 per share, up from $4.18 per share a year ago.

Walmart spent the quarter continuing to drive lower prices across its U.S. retail channel, which helped the company report a second consecutive quarter of positive comparisons.

“Walmart U.S. reported positive comps of 1.5 percent for the fourth quarter including positive comp traffic,” Walmart CEO Mike Duke said. “Our price leadership is making a difference across the United States, as many families are settling into a new normal. Core customers remain cautious about their finances, and they rely on Walmart’s EDLP promise to help them manage through today’s economic challenges.”

Over the thirteen week period ending January 27, Sam’s Clubs saw same-store sales improve 5.4 percent when excluding fuel sales. 

Capital expenditures during the year outpaced cash flow generated by stores, reducing free cash flow for the full year by $200 million, to $10.7 billion.

The company issued guidance for the coming year in the range of $4.72 to $4.92 per share.

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