Walmart’s earnings report was the most important news of 2017, but it was also the most disappointing for the nation.
The retailer reported its second-straight year of declining sales and income, and the third straight quarter of sales growth that hasn’t improved since 2012.
The company’s profit fell $9.3 billion to $4.5 billion, but its earnings per share fell by just 3 cents.
Walmart stock plunged by about 14% over the same period, from $69.75 to $66.50.
Overall, Wal-Mart’s stock rose nearly 2%, to $82.25.
The loss came after Walmart reported that it had earned $4 billion in profit on sales in the first quarter, up from $2.5 million in the second quarter.
The results also came after the company said it was closing stores and cutting jobs, but declined to say how many stores will be closed.
Walmart also reported a decline in net income to $3.4 billion, from a year earlier of $6.6 billion.
But its profit grew by nearly 5%, to almost $8 billion, as the company’s business grew by $2 billion, or 7% from a loss of $4 million.
The business was growing by $4,200 per store, compared with a net profit of $2,700.
The earnings report also showed that the company will continue to add jobs in 2017.
The corporation added 8,200 jobs in the fourth quarter, and it has added about 1,000 jobs per week in the past three months, according to a report from the company.
It’s been a tough year for Wal-Marts earnings, and there’s not much optimism about the future for the company, said John Deere, a research analyst with Bernstein Research.
The chain has been struggling to get back to profitability.
The growth rate of Wal-mart’s stores fell from 2.7% in the third quarter to 1.5% in 2016.
The profit per store fell from $7.80 to $5.10 per square foot, and its profit per share dropped from $6 to $6, according the company statement.
The year-over-year drop in profit is largely because of higher fuel costs, but the company still made money on the purchase of the stores and the closing of other stores, which helped it reduce expenses.
Analysts expect Wal-marts earnings to remain below $6 per share this year, and to grow less than 1% this year.
Wal-Mar Stores Inc. and its stock have been a hit for Walmart and its shareholders.
In addition to the company itself, Walmart is owned by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP.
Shares of the retailer have surged more than 70% since 2008.
Analyzing the earnings report Walmart shares surged 6% to $64.60, or $2 per share, on the news.
The stock gained more than 25% in 2017, after it closed below $60 for the first time since early 2016.
Analyts expect Walmarts share price to fall to $61 by the end of 2018.
Walmart’s stock is down more than 20% in 2018, and is down around 30% in 2019.
The latest quarterly results show that Walmart’s profit is expected to increase in 2018 but it is expected not to surpass $6 billion for the year.
That’s because of increased demand for merchandise in the U.S. The Walmart stock is expected by some analysts to drop back to $55, or a little over $10 per share in 2019 and 2020.