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Walmart cuts profit forecast

By Renee Dudley
Bloomberg News

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, cut its annual profit forecast after it said shoppers’ reluctance to buy more than the bare necessities hurt second-quarter sales.

Profit per share in the year ending January 2014 will be $5.10 to $5.30, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company said Thursday in a statement. That’s less than its earlier projection of $5.20 to $5.40. The average of 28 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was $5.29 a share.

Sales at U.S. stores open at least 12 months excluding fuel fell 0.3 percent in the quarter ended July 26. Analysts estimated a 0.9 percent gain.

Second-quarter net income rose 1.3 percent to $4.07 billion, or $1.24 a share, from $4.02 billion, or $1.18, a year earlier, the company said. The most recent quarter’s results included a charge of 1 cent a share for a tax matter. The average of 27 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was $1.25.

Revenue rose 2.3 percent to $116.9 billion, trailing analysts’ $118.5 billion average estimate. That marks the fifth straight quarter the company’s sales have missed projections.


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