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Wal-Mart U.S. quarterly comparable sales slip

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Thursday reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, hurt by an unexpected decline in U.S. comparable sales and what the company called a competitive retail environment.

The world's largest retailer said comparable sales at its U.S. stores, its biggest unit, fell 0.3 percent in the third quarter ended on October 31, hurt in part by a reduction in the number of visits to stores by customers. Wall Street was expecting those results to be unchanged.

Wal-Mart expects U.S. comparable sales, which include those online and at stores open at least a year, to be flat during the current holiday quarter.

"Some customers feel uncertainty about the economy, government, jobs stability," said Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke in a recording.

Overall revenue increased 1.6 percent to $115.69 billion, while Wall Street was expecting $116.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. International sales rose 4.1 percent to $34.4 billion, excluding any currency impact.

Third-quarter profit from continuing operations rose 2.8 percent to $3.73 billion, or $1.14 per share. That was 1 cent higher than analysts were expecting.

Shares of Wal-Mart were down 1.3 percent at $77.85 in trading before the market opened.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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