Walmart Inc. WMT, -0.63% shares rose 3% in Thursday premarket trading after the retail giant reported fourth-quarter profit and sales that beat expectations and raised its dividend. Net income totaled $3.56 billion, or $1.28 per share, after a loss of $2.09 billion, or 74 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS of $1.53 beat the FactSet consensus for $1.50. Revenue of $152.87 billion was up from $152.08 billion and ahead of the FactSet consensus for $151.72 billion. E-commerce sales were up 1% year-over-year, but soared 70% on a two-year stack. Walmart International sales were down 22.6% to $27 billion, impacted by $10.1 billion due to divestitures. Walmart U.S. comp sales, excluding fuel, were up 5.6% with transactions up 3.1% and average ticket up 2.4%. The FactSet consensus was for a U.S. comp sales increase of 6%. For full-year 2023, Walmart is guiding for U.S. comp sales growth of slightly above 3%, excluding fuel, and EPS growth in the mid-single digits. The FactSet consensus is for U.S. comp growth of 2.7% and EPS of $6.70, implying about about 4% growth. Walmart also raised its annual dividend about 2% to $2.24 per share for fiscal 2023. The first installment of 56 cents per share will be paid on April 4 to shareholders of record as of March 18. Walmart stock has tumbled 9.3% over the last year while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.16% has gained 10.5% for the period.
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