Wal-Mart shares drop after sales miss forecasts

By Reuters
Posted Feb. 22 at 5:49 p.m.

Wal-Mart Stores failed to meet its promise of reigniting sales at its U.S. stores, a disappointment for a new leadership team charged with turning things around in the face of pressure from even cheaper discounters.

The retailer’s shares closed down 3.1 percent, despite the company’s reporting earnings that beat analysts’ expectations. U.S. sales are also still being hurt by a poorly executed decision, since reversed, to pare down the number of items Wal-Mart offers.

The retailer reported its seventh consecutive quarterly decline in sales at U.S. stores open at least a year, posting a 1.8 percent drop that was much bigger than its worst forecast and showing how hard it is for a merchant that accounts for 10 percent of U.S. retail sales to overcome its own mistakes.

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