NEW YORK (
(WMT - Get Report)
shares slipped on Wednesday after
reported that the world's largest retailer was cutting orders to suppliers over the next two quarters to address excess inventory.
Shares fell as much as 2.9% on Wednesday afternoon following the report, the biggest drop since its disappointing earnings report in August. However the stock pared its losses following the company's response on
saying that the report was "misleading." The stock was down 1.4% to $74.68 at last check.
Still the retailer's revenue is being challenged this year by the hard hit low-end consumer, grappling with paycheck declines from the expiration of the payroll tax cut, higher gas prices and some companies already preparing for next year's health care reform enactment by cutting work hours.
Wal-Mart reported disappointing second-quarter earnings and sales on Aug. 15 that missed analyst expectations. The Bentonville, Ark.-based company also said U.S. comparable store sales declined 0.3% in the quarter.
Wal-Mart cut its full-year EPS guidance range by 10 cents to a range of $5.10 a share to $5.30 a share.
Bill Simon, Wal-Mart's president and CEO of its U.S. operations, said
earlier this month
at an investor conference that the company expects U.S. sales to improve in the second half of the year, particularly as it gears up for the all-important holiday shopping season.
-- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.