Retail superpower Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.(NYSE:WMT) Thursday morning posted mixed third quarter earnings and issued guidance that could fall short of expectations, sending its shares lower in early trading.
The Bentonville, AR-based company reported Q3 earnings per share (EPS) of $0.98, which was two cents better than Wall Street’s $0.96 estimate. Revenues edged 0.5% higher from last year to $117.18 billion, which fell short of analysts’ view of $117.86 billion.
Walmart noted that currency translation effects negatively impacted EPS by approximately $0.03 in the latest period.
The company noted that U.S. comparable store sales rose 1.2% in Q3, which was in-line with guidance for +1.0-1.5%. The increase was mostly driven by a traffic uptick of 0.7%. Neighborhood Market, which is Walmart’s grocery store concept, saw comps rise about 5.2%.
Looking ahead, WMT issued earnings guidance that could fall short of Wall Street estimates. For Q4, the company expects EPS to range from $1.18 to $1.33, while analysts are looking for $1.32. Q4 Walmart U.S. comps are expected to rise 1.0% to +1.5%, and Sam’s Club (excluding fuel) comparable sales are seen rising 1.0% to 1.5%.
For the full fiscal year 2017, Walmart forecast EPS of $4.20 to $4.35. Analysts are looking for earnings of $4.33 per share for the year, so there’s a good chance that WMT’s numbers will miss that view.
The company commented via press release:
“We had a solid third quarter. Our ecommerce growth accelerated, operations in the U.S. continued to strengthen and international delivered another solid performance. We are pleased that we can see real progress stemming from our strategic choices and we appreciate the great work by our associates. Yet, we are not satisfied. We will continue to change and pick up speed to reach our longer term aspirations. We’re positioned well for this important fourth quarter and wish everyone a happy, peaceful and prosperous holiday season.”
Walmart shares fell $2.04 (-2.86%) to $69.35 in premarket trading Thursday. Prior to today’s report, WMT had gained 16.46% year-to-date.