Wal-Mart Stores Inc posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as its Walmart U.S. division showed a 2.6 percent rise in sales at stores open at least a year, and as warm weather and an earlier Easter enticed shoppers to spend.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, cut its annual profit forecast for the second time this year as the uneven economy and increased competition from dollar stores hurt sales.
Profit per share in the year ending January 2014 will be US$5.01 to US$5.11, Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart said Thursday in a statement. That’s down from an an August forecast of US$5.10 to US$5.30 and trailed analysts’ average estimate of US$5.19. The company in February forecast profit of as much as US$5.40.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s quarterly profit just missed Wall Street expectations on Thursday, with sales down 1.4% at its Walmart U.S. stores open at least a year.
The world’s largest retailer said U.S. sales suffered from a delay in income tax refund checks, cool weather, less grocery inflation than expected, and the payroll tax increase.
Shares of Wal-Mart fell 2.3% in premarket trading to US$78. The stock had hit a new high of US$79.96 on Wednesday.
Wal-Mart Stores posted a higher quarterly profit on Thursday even as sales fell 1.4 percent at its Walmart U.S. stores open at least a year because of a delay in income tax refund checks, cool weather, less grocery inflation than expected, and the payroll tax increase.