TribLIVE

| Business

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Wal-Mart cuts annual outlook for 2nd time in 3 months

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

On the Grid

From the shale fields to the cooling towers, Trib Total Media covers the energy industry in Western Pennsylvania and beyond. For the latest news and views on gas, coal, electricity and more, check out On the Grid today.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, 8:06 p.m.
 

NEW YORK — Wal-Mart shoppers — much like many Americans — still feel like they're in a recession.

In the uneven economic recovery, their bills are going up, but their wages are not. While the well-heeled crowd benefits from gains in the stock market, Wal-Mart shoppers are struggling with a higher payroll tax. And shopping for bargains isn't a hobby, but a necessity.

For these reasons, the world's largest retailer on Thursday cut its annual outlook for the second time in three months and gave fourth-quarter guidance that's below Wall Street's expectations.

The forecast shows how vulnerable Wal-Mart — and its customers — are to economic ups and downs. Wal-Mart shoppers, who on average make $45,000 a year, were squeezed by the recession that began at the end of 2007 and have struggled to recover since it ended in 2009.

They've been dealing with a 2 percentage point increase in the Social Security payroll tax since Jan. 1. A partial 16-day government shutdown this year hurt business in areas with large military bases. And the Nov. 1 expiration of a temporary boost in government food stamps could hurt customers' ability to spend, though the discounter said it's too early to know.

Wal-Mart earned $3.74 billion, or $1.14 per share, in the three months ended Oct. 31. That compares with $3.64 billion, or $1.08 per share, a year earlier. Net sales rose 1.6 percent to $114.88 billion. On a constant currency basis, net sales would have been $116.2 billion.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.13 per share on net sales of $116.9 billion.

Overall, total sales increased 2.4 percent for Wal-Mart's U.S. business, 1.1 percent at Sam's Clubs and 0.2 percent at Wal-Mart's international business.

But Wal-Mart reported a decline in a figure that the industry uses to gauge a company's performance. Revenue at stores open at least a year fell 0.1 percent for all U.S. stores but included a 1.1 percent increase at Sam's Clubs.

Wal-Mart said it expects adjusted earnings per share to be $1.60 to $1.70 for the fourth quarter. For the year, it expects $5.11 to $5.21, compared with its forecast of $5.10 and $5.30 per share in August. That was downgraded from May's forecast.

Analysts expected adjusted earnings of $1.69 per share for the fourth quarter and $5.19 per share for the year, according to research firm FactSet.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Business Headlines

  1. Muni bond funds stressed
  2. Israel’s Teva drops bid for Mylan, buys Allergan for $40.5B
  3. Ambridge’s PittMoss takes off with help from TV show, Mt. Lebanon native Cuban
  4. Wal-Mart to cut hours at several all-night supercenters
  5. Profit plunges at First Niagara
  6. Wabtec moves to buy France-based transport company
  7. Taxpayers may owe billions in student loans
  8. Foundation triggers Mylan takeover defense seen as a roadblock for Teva bid
  9. Stocks in slump as Chinese shares plunge