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NEW YORK: Walmart reported better-than-expected profits over the critical holiday-season quarter Tuesday, but offered a disappointing outlook as inflation weighs on consumers.

Profits over the quarter ending January 31 came in at $6.3 billion, up 76 percent from the year-ago period. Revenues rose 7.3 percent to $164 billion.

But shares tumbled after its projection for the upcoming quarter and year missed analyst estimates.

The biggest US private employer and the world’s biggest retailer, Walmart is considered more insulated in an inflation-focused period than other chains because of its reputation for value.

The company’s fourth-quarter results showed particular strength in groceries and other consumable categories, such as pet and personal care.

Walmart has paid most of $1bn tax for PhonePe shifting base to India

That helped offset the hit from lower sales in discretionary items, which have higher profit margins, but which have been less sought after as shoppers pay more for fuel and household staples.

Weak categories included toys, electronics, home goods and apparel, Walmart said in a presentation.

The company’s profit outlook for the current year was estimated at $5.90 to $6.05 per share, with much lower US comparable sales growth. Analysts had projected profits of $6.50 per share.

Walmart also sees net sales growth of at most three percent, less than half the revenue growth over the last year.

Shares of Walmart fell 4.2 percent to $140.29 in pre-market trading.

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