Wal-Mart reported lower quarterly earnings and cut its sales outlook due to a stronger dollar and recent store closures, sending its shares down nearly 4 percent.
The retailer also raised its 2017 annual dividend by 2 percent to $2 a share.
The retailer posted fourth-quarter earnings per share of $1.49, compared with $1.61 a share in the year-earlier period. Wal-Mart said operating income fell 16 percent from the previous year, to $6.6 billion in the quarter.
Consolidated revenue declined 1.4 percent to $129.7 billion, depressed by the stronger dollar's impact on international operations.
Analysts had expected to report earnings of about $1.46 a share on $130.96 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
"I think the sales trend actually got a bit worse than people were expecting," Feldman said. "We were looking for about a 1 percent same-store sales number; they came in about half a percent. In the guidance for next year, they talked about flat total sales versus the previous guidance of 3-to-4 percent."
The world's largest retailer said sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter ended on Jan. 31 from a year earlier. This was their sixth straight quarterly gain, but it missed market expectations for a rise of 1 percent.
For the current quarter, Wal-Mart said it expected a U.S. same-store sales increase of 0.5 percent, a slowdown from the year-earlier rise of 1.1 percent.
The retailer also said it expected net sales to be flat in its new fiscal year, down from a previous forecast for 3 percent to 4 percent growth.
The tepid sales forecast is troubling because it comes despite big investments in workers' wages and sprucing up the stores, Edward Jones analyst Brian Yarbrough said.
"It's the same old story," he said. "They continue to struggle to drive traffic and sales."
The company forecast first-quarter earnings per share of 80 cents to 95 cents, and full-year 2017 EPS of $4 to $4.30.
However, Ken Perkins, equity analyst at Morningstar, said Thursday "these investments take time to pay off, but they're the right moves."
"Out of the brick-and-mortar retailers out there, we feel like Wal-Mart is better positioned to compete against the likes of Amazon over the long term given their scale and given that they have a grocery mix that is better than other brick-and-mortar retailers in the same space."
Wal-Mart's earnings came a month after the company said it will close 269 stores, including 154 in the U.S., this year. The world's largest retailer will also open as many as 405 stores globally, as it shifts its focus toward Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets in profitable locations.