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Walmart misses Q4'18 Street expectations

Walmart Inc. missed analyst expectations in its fiscal fourth quarter, although the retail giant's revenue rose year over year.

Walmart posted an adjusted EPS of $1.33 for the fiscal fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31. The mean consensus for normalized EPS was $1.37, according to S&P Capital IQ. In the year-ago period, Walmart posted adjusted EPS of $1.30, according to S&P Capital IQ.

The company reported net income attributable to Walmart of $2.18 billion for the quarter, coming in 40.7% lower than the $3.76 billion reported in the same quarter a year ago.

Total revenue was $136.27 billion, an increase of 4.1% from the year-ago period. Walmart's e-commerce sales grew 23% during the quarter.

In its outlook for fiscal 2019 ending Jan. 25, 2019, the world's largest retailer said it expects to post EPS of $4.75 to $5.00. Walmart expects comparable store sales for Walmart U.S. to grow at least 2%, excluding fuel, while Sam's Club comparable store sales should grow between 3% and 4%, excluding fuel and tobacco.

The company anticipates consolidated net sales growth in constant currency of 1.5% to 2%, negatively impacted by Sam's Club closures and the decision to remove tobacco from certain clubs, as well as the winding down of its first-party e-commerce business in Brazil and the divestiture of its apparel chain Suburbia in Mexico.

E-commerce sales for the retail giant are expected to grow about 40% in fiscal 2019. The company also anticipates capital expenditures to reach about $11 billion and an effective tax rate of 24% to 26%.

The retailer also raised its annual dividend to $2.08 per share, an increase of 2% from the $2.04 paid in the last fiscal year. The dividend will be paid in four quarterly installments of 52 cents per share.

Walmart said its analysis of U.S. federal tax reform's effect on its business and earnings is "incomplete" but that the company has recorded a $207 million provisional benefit for its fiscal fourth quarter and full year.

For the full fiscal year 2018, Walmart reported adjusted EPS of $4.42. That came in higher than the $4.32 reported in the previous fiscal year, according to S&P Capital IQ. The company's consolidated net income attributable to Walmart fell 27.7% to $9.86 billion during the fiscal year from $13.64 billion in the year prior.