Wal-Mart Q2 sales rise
Shares in Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, dropped in New York trading after posting second-quarter sales that trailed analysts' estimates amid slowing gains in the US.
Wal-Mart fell 3.2 per cent to $72.05 at 7.34 am. The shares advanced 25 per cent this year through yesterday.
Total revenue rose 4.5 per cent to $114.3 billion, the Arkansas-based company said today in a statement. That trailed analysts' $115.8 billion average estimate.
Net income rose to $4.02 billion, or $1.18 a share, from $3.8 billion, or $1.09, a year earlier, Wal-Mart said.
Chief executive officer Mike Duke has been cutting prices to lure shoppers seeking bargains amid the weakening US economy.
Second-quarter sales at US Wal-Mart stores open at least a year gained 2.2 per cent, slower than the 2.6 per cent gain in the first quarter.
"The US stores division has decent operating momentum, but expectations were high going into the quarter," Colin McGranahan, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein and Co. in New York, said in a telephone interview before the results were released.
He rates Wal-Mart market perform, the equivalent of a hold. Wal-Mart said today that profit this year would be $4.83 to $4.93 a share, up from a previous forecast of $4.72 to $4.92. The average estimate of 28 analysts was for profit of $4.93.
Third-quarter profit per share will be $1.04 to $1.09. Analysts project $1.05. Consumer Pressure Duke said consumers in the U.S. and in Wal-Mart's key international markets are still struggling and will keep shopping for the lowest prices.