Walmart reports decline in Q4 profit

walmartWalmart’s profit fell nearly 8 per cent last quarter as the retailer prunes its global footprint.

Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, earned $US4.57 billion ($A6.38 billion), or $US1.43 per share in the three-month period ended January 31.

That compares with $US4.97 billion, or $US1.53 per share, in the year ago period.

On an adjusted basis, the figure was $US1.49, higher than the $US1.46 per share estimated by FactSet.

The company’s revenue of $US128.6 billion is short of the $US130.5 billion that Wall Street was looking for, according to FactSet, and shares tumbled 5 per cent before the opening bell.

Walmart is trying to fend off competition on all fronts, including online leader

Neil Saunders, CEO of Conlumino, said at headline level, the figures appear to be a gloomy set of results for Walmart. However, the vast majority of the decline is attributable to Walmart’s foreign operations, most notably online food shopping site Asda in the UK which has been losing sales and market share at a rapid pace.

“As much as Walmart dominates the old retail landscape, its grip on digital is less impressive,” said Saunders. “Of all online retail sales in the US, Walmart only has a 2.5 per cent share. That’s lower than its overall share, and far lower than Amazon’s 23.7 per cent share of the online market,” he said.

Saunders said “online is where the growth is” and “Walmart needs to play far harder in that space if it is to retain its retail crown over the longer term.”

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