Wal-Mart offers disappointing outlook as it reports 21 pct drop in 4Q profit

The Associated Press

FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, photo, Tracey Anderson, 26, re-stocks X-Box sets on opening day of a new Wal-Mart on Georgia Avenue Northwest in Washington. Wal-Mart reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin. File)

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By ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is offering a profit outlook below Wall Street expectations as economic pressures weigh on its low-income shoppers around the world.

The world's largest retailer also saw its fourth-quarter profit drop 21 percent.

Wal-Mart, based in Bentonville, Ark., said Thursday that it earned $4.43 billion, or $1.36 per share, in the quarter ended Jan. 31. That compares with $5.6 billion, or $1.67 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding charges related to closing stores in Brazil and China, Wal-Mart earned $1.60 per share.

Net revenue was up 1.4 percent to $128.79 billion.

Analysts were expecting $1.59 per share on revenue of $129.9 billion, according to FactSet.

Revenue at stores open at least a year fell 0.4 percent, the fourth consecutive quarterly decline.

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