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Walmart U.S. Sales Down

23 Feb, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

Net sales for Walmart’s fiscal fourth quarter of 2011 (ended Jan. 31) were $115.6 billion, up 2.5% year over year, and earnings rose 27% to more than $6 billion. But company executives struck a cautious tone after reporting a decline in comparable U.S. store sales.

“Our 1.8% comp decline for the fourth quarter didn’t meet anyone’s expectations,” William Simon, EVP and CEO of Walmart U.S.A., said in a pre-recorded call discussing the earnings. “They certainly didn't meet mine, period.”

Average retail price declines in electronics, particularly TVs, hardware and games, were partly to blame.

“Despite the price pressure on TVs, we still had positive unit growth and we grew market share,” Simon said. “We believe we can mitigate some of this price pressure by increasing our focus on products and categories like iPads.”

Earnings per share for the quarter were $1.41, up from $1.21 from the same quarter in 2010.

For the full fiscal year, net sales were $419 billion, up 3.4% over fiscal 2010.

"We are pleased with Walmart’s strong earnings performance for both the fourth quarter and the full year across our three operating segments,” said Mike Duke, Walmart Stores president and CEO.

For fiscal 2012 Walmart is forecasting earnings per share of between $4.35 and $4.50.

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