A rare miss for Walmart to end the year

National News

FILE – This June 25, 2019, file photo shows the entrance to a Walmart in Pittsburgh. Walmart is reporting disappointing fourth-quarter profits and sales. The nation’s largest retailer says that sales at its U.S. stores heading into the holiday season were weaker than expected. It also said that social unrest in Chile hurt its business. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

NEW YORK (AP) – Walmart reported disappointing fourth-quarter profits and sales after a sluggish and shortened holiday shopping season.

Violent social protests in Chile cut into international sales.

The report Tuesday was a rare miss for Walmart, which has distanced itself from rivals through strong online grocery sales. It’s holding its own against Amazon despite its increasing dominance.

Walmart, based in Bentonville, Arkansas, has also been benefiting from overall healthy consumer spending and a strong economy.

The company reported strong sales in grocery, helped by its expanded online delivery services. Still, Walmart posted same-store sales of 1.9% in the quarter that were well below the 3.2% increase in the previous period. The increase still marked its 22nd straight quarter of same-store sales gains. The company also reported that e-commerce sales rose 35%, slowing from 41% in the previous quarter.

The company reported a net income of $4.14 billion, or $1.45 per share in the quarter ended Jan. 31. That compares with $3.69 billion, or $1.27 per share in the year-ago period. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.38. Analysts were expecting $1.44 per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 2.1% to $140.6 billion. Analysts were expecting $141.5 billion in the quarter.

Shares are down slightly in premarket trading.

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