: Wal-Mart's fiscal fourth-quarter GAAP earnings advanced 12% to $1.41, helped by a $243 million, or seven cent, tax benefit. Consolidated operating income rose 7.3% to $8 billion. Net sales inched up 2.5% to nearly $116 billion. U.S. comparable store sales declined 1.8% during the quarter, disappointing investors. The operating margin widened from 6.6% to 6.9%. Management is forecasting fiscal first-quarter earnings between 91 and 96 cents a share, an increase from the 86 cents delivered in the year-earlier period.
: Adjusted quarterly earnings stretched 15% to $1.34, exceeding researchers' consensus estimate by 2.2%. Wal-Mart missed consensus in the previous quarter. It has an average earnings beat rate of 1.8%. Its adjusted top-line figure inched up 2.4% past $116 billion, narrowly missing analysts' forecast of $118 billion. Wal-Mart has an average sales beat rate of negative 0.7%. Its stock fell more than 3% in reaction to the report.
: Wal-Mart pays a quarterly dividend of 30 cents, translating to a 2.3% yield. The payout has grown 11% and 15%, annually, over a three- and five-year span.
: Of researchers evaluating Wal-Mart, 20, or 57%, rate its stock "buy", 14 rate it "hold", and one ranks it "sell." The stock has a median target of $60.82.
, Buy, $62 Target
, Overweight, $62 Target
, Hold, $60 Target
, Neutral, $60 Target
, Neutral, $58 Target
, Neutral, $54 Target
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