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Walmart Posts Higher Q4 Profit; Ups Annual Dividend 18% - Quick Facts

Retail giant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) reported a rise in fourth-quarter income from continuing operations attributable to the company to $5.61 billion, or $1.67 per share, from $5.19 billion, or $1.51 per share a year ago. On average, 22 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $1.57 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Quarterly net sales reached $127.1 billion, up 3.9 percent from $122.3 billion in last year's fourth quarter. On a constant currency basis, net sales would have increased 3.7 percent to $126.8 billion. Total revenue for the period was $127.9 billion, a 3.9 percent increase year-over-year. Analysts estimated revenues of $128.77 billion for the quarter.

Looking ahead to the first quarter of fiscal 2014, the company expects earnings per share to range between $1.11 and $1.16, while 19 analysts anticipate first-quarter earnings of $1.18 per share.

For fiscal 2014, earnings per share are estimated to range between $5.20 and $5.40, including increased fiscal 2014 costs of some $0.09 per share for e-commerce operations. Analysts project earnings of $5.37 per share for fiscal 2014.

In addition, the board approved an annual cash dividend for fiscal 2014 of $1.88 per share, around 18 percent increase from the $1.59 per share paid in fiscal 2013.

by RTT Staff Writer

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