Wal-Mart announced plans to boost wages for half a million of its U.S. workers this year. Profits topped estimates in the fourth-quarter, though its guidance came in weaker-than-expected. Leah Duncan reports.
Walmart posted a strong profit and raised wages for its employees. The world's largest retailer topped earnings estimates in the key holiday quarter. It also said starting in April… hourly workers will receive 9-dollars per hour.. nearly 2-dollars above the current federal minimum wage. And that will rise to at least 10-dollars in 2016. Wal-Mart has long been criticized for its low hourly pay and employee benefits. Company CEO Doug McMillion says "These changes will give our U.S. associates the opportunity to earn higher pay and advance in their careers. We're pursuing a comprehensive approach that is sustainable over the long term." Walmart managed to top Wall Street's expectations with a 12-percent jump in profit helped by increased traffic and strong sales in its toys, home and apparel segments. But the retailer issued weaker-than-expected guidance for this year citing the increased costs of the wage hikes and the stronger dollar which impacts business overseas. . Walmart shares fell roughly three percent in early trading.