Wal-Mart Cuts Profit outlook

Slowing down…

NEW YORK (AP) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a 49 percent increase in second-quarter profits, but the world’s largest retailer cut its profit outlook amid weak economic conditions that are crimping consumer spending globally.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter reported a net income of $3.10 billion, or 76 cents per share, for the three months ended July 31. That compared with $2.08 billion, or 50 cents per share in the year-ago period.The quarter included three items that provided a net benefit of $171 million after tax, or 4 cents per share. Accruals for general liability and workers’ compensation claims were reduced by $196 million after tax. The company also recognized $41 million in after tax gains from the sale of real estate. These benefits were offset by charges of $66 million after tax for legal and other contingencies.Analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected 76 cents per share.Wal-Mart reported revenue of $93.01 billion, up from $85.43 billion in the year-ago period. Analysts had expected $92.68 billion in the quarter.The company said that for the full year, earnings per share from continuing operations is now estimated to be between $3.05 per share and $3.13 per share. The company’s initial forecast was in the range of $3.15 per share and $3.23 per share.‘Our underlying operating performance this quarter is not what we expect of ourselves, and not what our shareholders expect of us,’ said Lee Scott, Wal-Mart president and chief executive officer. ‘For the remainder of this year, our management team is focused on inventory improvements, delivering quality products at low prices, and store execution at the highest standards.’Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.