Walmart has lowered its 2014 FY forecast, citing “incremental investments in e-Commerce” and higher-than-estimated health care costs. Initially, the retailer predicted that shares for 2014 would reach between $5.10 and $5.45. Forecasted earnings per share now are expected to range between $4.90 and $5.15.
U.S. comparable store sales saw no growth (0.0%) in Q2 2014, with the company expecting sales to remain flat in Q3. Walmart is reporting quarterly earnings of $1.21 per share, or 1.6% lower than the same period last year.
The retailer’s consolidated net sales increased more than $3.2 billion, or 2.8% year over year.
“I’m pleased with our solid earnings per share performance,” said Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. “As it relates to the positives from the quarter, I’m encouraged by the performance of our International business, our Neighborhood Market sales in the U.S. and by our e-commerce growth.
Worldwide e-Commerce sales increased by approximately 24%, with Walmart reporting double-digit growth in the U.S., UK, China and Brazil.
“We see opportunities to improve in merchandising, pricing and store level service in our supercenters, and we are working to close those gaps,” McMillon said. “Our investments in e-Commerce and mobile are very important, as the lines between digital and physical retail continue to blur. Our customers expect a seamless experience, and we’re working to deliver that for them around the world.”