Tallahassee Journal

Walmart beats estimates, store traffic up

Walmart beats estimates, store traffic up

Walmart reported fourth quarter sales in line with expectations Thursday as foot traffic increased in stores and more people placed online orders during the holiday shopping season. The big-box chain reported earnings per share of $1.53, or $4.97 billion. Analysts expected earnings per share of $1.54, according to Zacks Investment Research. Walmart shares are down 2.6% midday.walmart_1024

Revenue increased 1.4% to $131.6 billion, up from $129.7 billion in the same quarter of 2014. Stores benefited from increased foot traffic, which was up 1.4% at U.S. stores, the first positive increase since the third quarter of 2013, said Greg Foran, president and CEO of Walmart U.S, in a statement. Same-store sales in the U.S. were up 1.2%, compared to a 0.4% decline in the same quarter a year ago. For the year ended Jan. 30, Walmart reported sales of $485.7 billion, up 2% from $476.3 billion in 2014. It expects earnings per share between $4.70 and $5.05 for 2015.

Walmart also announced changes to employee training and wages, which will cost the company 20 cents a share in 2015. About 500,000 store associates at Walmart and Sam’s Club U.S. locations will be paid at least $1.75 above the federal minimum wage as of April, or $9 an hour. By February of next year, the minimum will increase to $10 an hour. “The wage market has always been competitive,” CEO Doug McMillon said on a call with media. “We make adjustments like this to make sure we can attract and retain the talent we need.”