Walmart (NYSE: WMT) reported third-quarter earnings today, Nov. 14, revealing a lower-than-expected rise in profit of 2.8 percent.
Net income for the retailer was reported as $3.73 billion, or $1.14 a share, versus the prior year's $3.62 billion, or $1.08 a share. Earnings per share were $1.14, up 6.5 percent, and a penny better than analysts' expectations.
Consolidated net sales rose 1.6 percent to $ 114.9 billion and total revenue rose to $115.7 billion, up 1.7 percent from a year ago, but short of the $116.8 billion Wall Street was expecting.
Comparable sales at Walmart's U.S. stores fell 0.3 percent in the third quarter, hurt in part by a decrease in the number of visits to stores by customers, slow wage growth among the company's core customer base, and increasing competition from dollar stores. Sam's Club comparable sales, excluding fuel sales, were $14.1 billion, up 1.1 percent.
"The retail environment, both in stores and online, remains competitive," said Mike Duke, CEO of Walmart Stores, in a statement. "Walmart has aggressive plans to help our customers enjoy the holiday season, and there is no doubt that we plan to win for our customers and shareholders throughout the holidays."
Walmart narrowed its full-year earnings guidance to a range of $5.11 to $5.21 a share, down from an August forecast of $5.10 to $5.30 and below analysts' average estimate of $5.19.
Shares were down 1.8 percent to $77.50 in pre-market trading Thursday.
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