Stock Roundup: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT)

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has acquired online outdoor clothing and gear retailer Moosejaw for $51 million in an all-cash deal, the company said on Wednesday, as it works to boost its competitive standing in USA e-commerce. Excluding currency, net sales were $33.7 billion, an increase of 3.0%. The company had revenue of $117176.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts expectations of $117861.52 million. That helped offset the hit from lower global sales due in part to the strong dollar.

Comparable-store sales, or sales at locations open at least a year, jumped 1.8%, easily surpassing the 1.3% gain that analysts were anticipating. Also, CEO C Douglas Mcmillon sold 75,063 shares of Wal-Mart Stores stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 21st.

Just when it seemed like Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE: WMT) was at risk of being left behind in the digital age, the retail giant delivered some impressive Q4 earnings numbers that suggest Wal-Mart isn't going down without a fight.

In pre-market trading, the stock is trading up 1.41 percent. The fiscal year 2018 annual dividend of $2.04 per share will be paid in four quarterly installments of $0.51 per share.

Overall profit for S&P 500 companies is estimated to have risen 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter, Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S said in a report last Friday.

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Excluding certain items, earnings per share for the quarter was $1.30, compared to $1.49 previous year.

Wal-Mart, like other traditional retailers, has been trying to improve its online operations to be a stronger challenger to online leader Amazon.com. Revenue, excluding currency, ticked up 3.0% to $133.6 billion. Sam's Club operating income, however, decreased 8.5% to $390 million in the quarter.

Neighborhood Market comps also increased approximately 5.3%, with strong customer growth. The decline in the worldwide business was more than offset by growth in sales at Wal-Mart U.S and Sam's Club divisions. Refunds are expected to begin trickling in next week, meaning Wal-Mart should have a better sense of the impact from their delays in coming weeks, CFO Brett Biggs said. The company sees US same-store sales rising 1.0% to 1.5% and Sam's Club same-store sales rising about 1%, excluding fuel. Both comp traffic and ticket increased 1.2%.

I was positively surprised to see Wal-Mart's performance on the cash flow side. Analysts expect 96 cents per share for the first quarter and $4.32 per share for the year, according to FactSet. As the graph below indicates (Wal-Mart has not updated it to reflect calendar year 2016), dividend growth has slowed down significantly in the past few years. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. got Initiated on 10-Feb-17 where investment firm Susquehanna Initiated the stock to Positive.

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