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Data Slows as Q4 Wanes; Walmart (WMT) Tops Estimates

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

To kick off a shortened week due to Presidents’ Day Monday, we see a much lighter calendar both in economic data and Q4 earnings releases. Aside from a report on the February Home Builders’ Index due after the opening bell and a few key earnings reports so far this morning, we’re notably dialing back the heavy diet of data from the past few weeks.

No one digests earnings season quite like Zacks Director of Research Sheraz Mian, and last Friday he took a comprehensive look at how Q4 has transpired to this point. As of Friday afternoon, nearly 400 of the S&P 500 had already reported, with earnings up roughly 13% year over year and 7.5% on revenues. Yet he also sees “The growth pace is on track to decelerate even further in the current and coming quarters…” For a closer look at Sheraz’s most recent Earnings Preview, click here: 3 Things to Know About Q4 Earnings Season

Walmart’s Solid Q4

The world’s largest big-box retailer, Wal-Mart (WMT - Free Report) , outperformed expectations on both its top and bottom lines for fiscal Q4 — $1.41 per share surpassed the $1.33 in the Zacks consensus, on $138.8 billion in sales which topped estimates by 1.9%. U.S. comps rose 4.2% in the quarter, slightly offset by International and Sam’s Club segments. But global comps overall were up 2.9%, with new U.S. ecommerce sales coming in up 43%.

Walmart also announced another dividend increase to $2.12 per share, marking the 46th straight yearly raise for shareholder dividends. While CEO Doug McMillion did say on the call that he is “keeping an eye on ongoing trade tensions,” the company did raise share price estimates for the year. Shares are trading up 3.2% in this morning’s pre-market. For more on WMT’s earnings, click here.

Medtronic Beats on Fiscal Q3 Earnings

MedTech giant Medtronic (MDT - Free Report) also beat estimates on the bottom line of its fiscal Q3 report by a solid nickel per share to $1.29, on revenues which came in-line (but technically behind) the Zacks consensus: $7.55 billion versus $7.6 billion expected. Minimally Invasive Therapies led the company growth at +6.6% year over year, followed close behind by Diabetes at 6.5%. Pre-market shares are up 3% at this hour. For more on MDT’s earnings, click here.

Mark Vickery
Senior Editor

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