Walmart ends the year with strong free cash flow


Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. reported financial results for the quarter and year ended Jan. 31, 2010. Net sales for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010 were $112.8 billion, an increase of 4.6 percent from $107.9 billion in the fourth quarter last year. Net sales for the fourth quarter included a currency exchange rate benefit of $1.9 billion. Income from continuing operations attributable to Walmart for the quarter was $4.7 billion, an increase of almost 24 percent from $3.8 billion in the fourth quarter last year.

• Walmart reports fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.23 and adjusted earnings per share(1) of $1.17, five cents above the company’s latest guidance and five cents above the First Call consensus estimate.
• The company’s full year EPS was $3.72 and adjusted EPS was $3.66.
• Net sales for the full year topped $405 billion, with International net sales exceeding $100 billion for the first time. Walmart U.S. comparable store sales for the fourth quarter were below guidance.
• Consolidated operating income for the fourth quarter was $7.3 billion, up 13.8 percent from last year.
• The company leveraged operating expenses for the fourth quarter and expects to leverage expenses for fiscal year 2011.
• Walmart ended the year with strong free cash flow(1) of $14.1 billion, an increase over last year of almost 21 percent.
• The company has returned $11.5 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase this fiscal year, a level of return that is 58 percent higher than last year.
• Walmart posted a pre-tax return on investment(1) (ROI) of 19.3 percent for fiscal year 2010, equal to last fiscal year’s ROI.

Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations attributable to Walmart (“EPS”) for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010 were $1.23. This compares to EPS of $0.96 in the fourth quarter last year. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations attributable to Walmart for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2010 were $4.5 billion, or $1.17 per share, after adjusting for the following items:

• $372 million, or $0.10 per share, in net tax benefits primarily from the repatriation of certain non-U.S. earnings that increased U.S. foreign tax credits; and
• $260 million charge ($162 million net of tax), or $0.04 per share, from several business restructurings.

By comparison, adjusted earnings from continuing operations attributable to Walmart for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 were $4.0 billion, or $1.03 per share, after adjusting for the $382 million charge ($255 million net of tax), or $0.07 per share, due to the settlement of 63 wage-and-hour class action lawsuits.

Net sales for the fiscal year were $405.0 billion, an increase of 1.0 percent over fiscal year 2009. On a constant currency basis, net sales for the fiscal year would have been $9.8 billion higher, increasing 3.4 percent to approximately $414.8 billion. Income from continuing operations attributable to Walmart increased to $14.4 billion from $13.3 billion in fiscal year 2009, an increase of 8.8 percent.

For fiscal year 2010, adjusted earnings from continuing operations attributable to Walmart were $14.2 billion, or $3.66 per share, versus $13.5 billion or $3.42 per share in the prior year, an increase of 7.0 percent per share.

Adjusted EPS for both the fourth quarter and the full year were also above the company’s most recent guidance of $1.08 to $1.12 and $3.57 to $3.61 respectively, as well as above First Call consensus.

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