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Walmart Miss Second Quarter Earnings Estimate, Cuts Annual Profit Forecast

Aug 19, 2015 11:16 PM EDT | By Jean-Claude Arnobit
Walmart, earnings report

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has announced that its second-quarter diluted earnings from its continuing operations was at $1.08 per share, according to a press release issued by Walmart.

The second-quarter earnings per share missed analysts' expectations.

Reuters adds that analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S were expecting, on average, Walmart's earnings to be at $1.12 per share. The second-quarter earnings was down from its earnings a year earlier, which was at $1.21 per share.

Walmart added in the press release that the disappointing second-quarter earnings per share was due to the pressure brought about by currency fluctuations, lower U.S. margins, and investments in customer experience.

The company's consolidated operating income was down by 10 percent.

Reuters adds that Walmart's profits were weighed down by the $1 billion investment it announced in February that aimed to boost its e-commerce infrastructure to try and compete better with, Inc.

The investment also raised the salary Walmart pay to its workers.

Reuters adds that the company started to increase the hours of its workers last February to improve its customer service.

Faster checkout lines and better-stocked shelves were said to be the areas the company improved upon.

The company was also affected by the reduction in reimbursement rates from pharmacy managers, according to Reuters.

The reduced rates hurt the margins of its U.S. pharmacy business.

The disappointing data prompted the company to cut its full-year earnings per share forecast.

Walmart said in the press release that their full-year earnings per share guidance would be at the range of $4.40 to $4.70. This would include its third-quarter earnings per share estimate of $0.93 to $1.05.

It was below its previous  full-year forecast of $4.70 to $5.05.

Reuters adds that the market consensus was for Walmart to have an earnings of $4.77 per share by the end of the year.

Reuters added that the company's shares fell to $70.30 in a heavy premarket trading on Tuesday, a 2.2 percent drop. 

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