The Bentonville, Ark.-based company said U.S. same-store sales for the four-week period ending Friday rose just 0.5%. A closely watched industry metric, same-store sales measure the year-over-year change at stores that have been open for more than one year.
The October gain falls significantly short of the company's recently lowered forecast. On Monday, Wal-Mart executives said in a conference call that October sales were tracking closer to September's 1.3% rise, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Previously, Wal-Mart had predicted a 2% to 4% gain in October.October's rise is also Wal-Mart's weakest monthly gain since December 2000, the Journal noted. In a brief statement Saturday, Wal-Mart offered no explanation for the lower-than-expected sales. The company plans to issue a full October sales report Thursday, when most major U.S. retailers are expected to announce monthly results. Wal-Mart shares lost $1.02 Friday to close at $50.73.