• EPS misses Wall Street forecasts
  • Net sales up but comp sales fall in US
  • Wal-Mart targets up to 2% increase in Q2 US comp sales 

Shares in Wal-Mart were down today (16 May) after the world's largest retailer posted quarterly earnings that missed Wall Street forecasts - and booked lower US sales.

Wal-Mart reported diluted earnings per share of $1.14 for the quarter to 30 April, a 4.6% rise on the year. However, according to a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters, Wall Street has forecast EPS of $1.15.

Operating income was up 1.1% at $6.5bn, while profits also rose 1.1% to $3.78bn. Net sales increased 1% to $113.4bn. Nevertheless, underlying sales in the US fell. Wal-Mart booked a 1.4% drop in comparable-store sales in the US, citing a delay in consumers receiving tax rebates, "challenging weather conditions" and lower-than-expected grocery inflation.

The retailer said it expects comp sales from its US business to be at worst flat year-on-year or up 2% at best in the second quarter.

Internationally, Wal-Mart's sales outside the US were up 2.9% at $33bn. It claimed it had gained market share in the "majority" of its non-US markets.

Shares in Wal-Mart were down 1.14% at $78.72 at 09:52 ET.