Walmart on Friday said that its fourth quarter profits would likely be lower than anticipated, citing store closures and tax contingencies in international markets, as well as slower-than-expected sales at U.S. stores.


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The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer will release earnings for the quarter ended Friday on Feb. 20. At that time Walmart is likely to report earnings per share slightly below the $1.60-$1.70 range it forecast while reporting third quarter earnings in November. In all, earnings per share are expected to be affected by 26 cents per share as a result of store closures in Brazil and China, the termination of franchise agreements in India, as well as tax contingencies in Brazil and lease expense charges in China.

In the U.S., a restructuring of Sam’s Club and costs associated with a store closure will also negatively impact quarterly earnings, the company said. For the 14-week quarter, reductions in SNAP benefits and effects of several winter storms are expected to result in U.S. comparable sales below a flat forecast issued in November. Sam’s Club sales are likely also to report comps below a 2% forecast as a result of winter storms.

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