Walmart shares gain for a fifth straight session on Tuesday, fourth-quarter results fall short of estimates, full-year on-line sales growth to decelerate

Walmart Inc (WMT) on Tuesday reported slower-than-anticipated revenue and earnings growth during the fourth quarter due to a shorter holiday season and lower demand for items such as electronics, apparel and toys.

The company also projected slower growth in on-line sales for the fiscal year.

Walmart shares closed higher for a fifth consecutive trading session in New York on Tuesday. It has also been the sharpest single-session gain since November 13th 2019. The stock went up 1.48% ($1.74) to $119.63, after touching an intraday high at $119.90, or a price level not seen since December 27th 2019 ($119.94).

Shares of Walmart Inc have risen 0.66% so far in 2020 compared with a 4.32% gain for the benchmark index, S&P 500 (SPX).

In 2019, Walmart’s stock went up 27.58%, thus, it again underperformed the S&P 500, which registered a 28.88% gain.

Walmart’s total revenue went up 2.1% year-on-year to $141.67 billion during the quarter ended on January 31st, but fell short of the median analyst estimate ($142.49 billion).

Excluding fuel, sales at US stores, which are open for at least 13 months, grew 1.9% year-on-year during the fiscal fourth quarter, while missing a consensus of estimates pointing to a 2.35% growth.

Walmart said that e-commerce sales had risen 35% year-on-year during the latest quarter, or at the slowest rate in almost 2 years.

The retailer now expects about 30% growth in on-line sales during fiscal year 2021, which compares with a 37% increase in the preceding year.

Meanwhile, earnings per share, which exclude special items, were reported at $1.38 during the fiscal fourth quarter. In comparison, analysts on average had expected adjusted earnings of $1.43 per share.

Analyst stock price forecast and recommendation

According to CNN Money, the 30 analysts, offering 12-month forecasts regarding Walmart Inc’s stock price, have a median target of $130.00, with a high estimate of $155.00 and a low estimate of $105.00. The median estimate represents a 8.67% upside compared to the closing price of $119.63 on February 18th.

The same media also reported that at least 17 out of 32 surveyed investment analysts had rated Walmart Inc’s stock as “Buy”, while 10 – as “Hold”.

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