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Walmart sales weaker than Wall Street expected

The world's largest retailer reports that sales fell short, showing squeeze in spending among consumers.

By Sonali Basak
Walmart sales weaker than Wall Street expected
Wal-Mart reports disappointing earnings, and a weak outlook for the holidays. (File/UPI/Jim Ruymen) | License Photo

Nov. 14 (UPI) -- Walmart, the world's largest retailer, reported that sales were lower than expected, marking its third straight decline in U.S. stores.

Revenue rose 1.7 percent to $115.69 billion, below the $116.8 billion that Wall Street expected. This comes after retail giant Macy's, which reaches a higher income population, reported higher-than-expected earnings Wednesday.

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Walmart CEO Mike Duke says the retail environment is competitive but the store has "aggressive plans" for the holiday season. The stores pushed seasonal sales as early as Halloween to capitalize on the holidays, but Duke says sales are still expected to be "relatively flat" for the season.

U.S. same-store sales edged down 0.3 percent, but sales at Sam's Club stores inched upward. This is attributed to a hike in Social Security taxes, which has pulled down consumer spending. Walmart accounts for almost 10 percent of all non-automotive U.S. spending, so the sales figure points to stagnant wages among Walmart consumers.

International sales rose 0.2 percent. Walmart is readjusting its international presence, opening new stores in India, closing unproductive stores in Brazil and China and reintroducing its everyday low cost strategy. It is opening more than 100 new stores in China in the next three years.

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Walmart's profits rose 2.8 percent to $3.7 billion, or $1.14 per share. This was a penny higher than analysts expected, according to a Bloomberg survey. Shares were down 1.8 percent to $77.50 before market open Thursday.

[USAToday] [MarketWatch] [Bloomberg]

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