Wal-Mart has reported a weaker than expected Q1 profit on the back of steep fuel prices and unseasonably cool weather, and has released a Q2 forecast that analysts have described as "the largest negative revision in recent memory".
Net profit came in at $2.5 billion, or EPS of $0.58, compared with $2.2 billion, or EPS of $0.50, in last year’s Q1. Comp sales rose 2.9 per cent, below the company’s forecast of 3-5 per cent.
"Our results were not up to Wal-Mart standards," said CEO Lee Scott, adding: "We should pick up momentum into the second half of the year."
The company expects Q2 earnings to be in the range of $0.63 to $0.67 per share, down from average analyst estimates of $0.70.
Earlier in the month, reports in the Turkish press cited Wal-Mart claims that the company is not yet ready to enter the Russian market.
In the articles, Scott is quoted as saying: "We have looked at the Russian market, we have an interest in the Russian market, but I’m not sure we’re quite comfortable to go there today."