breaking news

Springfield woman accused of not treating 3-month-old with broken leg

Wal-Mart lowers earnings expectations


NEW YORK (AP) — 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, they’re still 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 offered fourth-quarter guidance that’s below Wall Street’s expectations. On the news, its shares fell 10 cents to $79.

The disappointing forecast shows how vulnerable Wal-Mart — and its customers — are to the ups and downs in the economy. Wal-Mart’s shoppers are dealing with a 2 percentage point increase in the Social Security payroll tax since Jan. 1. A partial 16-day government shutdown this year also hurt business in areas with large military bases. And the Nov. 1 expiration of a temporary boost in government food stamps could also hurt customers’ ability to spend, though the discounter says it’s too early to know.

On top of that, Wal-Mart also is facing increased competition from online rivals like Amazon.com, which is opening warehouse hubs closer to cities to speed up delivery. Another threat: Dollar stores, which are wooing customers with convenient locations and name-brand products at discounted prices.

Wal-Mart earned $3.74 billion, or $1.14 per share, in the three months that 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.

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


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

WATCH: Amazon’s first ‘store of the future’ opens today
WATCH: Amazon’s first ‘store of the future’ opens today

Amazon’s first store, which has no checkout lanes, opened today in Seattle. The new concept Amazon Go will give consumers “the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line,” according to the online retail giant. Some industry experts are calling the concept the future of brick-and-mortar retail...
Court to look at ‘antiquated’ sales tax rules for online retailers
Court to look at ‘antiquated’ sales tax rules for online retailers

The U.S. Supreme Court is going to reconsider a pressing issue for national and state businesses: Should online retailers be required to collect sales taxes just like local brick-and-mortar stores? The court said it will hear a case from South Dakota, where state officials would like to see online retailers that do at least $100,000 in business every...
Walmart introduces meal kits with no subscription
Walmart introduces meal kits with no subscription

Walmart is now selling meal kits that require no subscription for customers. Walmart has joined the growing number of grocery retailers offering meal kits in December. Walmart is now touting that its meal kits are hassle-free, and it doesn’t require a subscription like competitor services like Blue Apron. Walmart meal kits come in several brands...
Lending Tree: Dayton home market isn’t so competitive
Lending Tree: Dayton home market isn’t so competitive

The Dayton housing market is one of the least competitive in the country, at least among buyers who make mortgage loan requests through the Lending Tree online marketplace, the company said. In a national ranking, Dayton ranks relatively low for factors Lending Tree deems indicative of a competitive housing market. Prospective buyers in this area have...
Kroger reportedly looking to partner with Overstock.com
Kroger reportedly looking to partner with Overstock.com

Kroger is considering teaming up with Overstock.com Inc. in an effort to compete with online retailers. The New York Post reported the Cincinnati-based grocer may be eyeing a deal with Overstock.com, according to sources. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said last year that he plans to sell or reorganize the e-commerce business to focus on blockchain technology...
More Stories