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Walmart Stores Inc. reported disappointing earnings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year, citing domestic problems such as severe storms, cuts to federal benefits, an economically struggling customer base and international uncertainties like currency fluctuations.
The company announced Thursday that profit in the fourth quarter, which included the pivotal holiday shopping season, was down 21 percent from the same period last year. Sales at U.S. stores open for at least a year were down 0.4 percent — its fourth consecutive negative number in that category — and traffic in US locations declined 1.7 percent.