Quantcast

Walmart outlook gives glimpse of bruised economy

Published February 21, 2013 5:22 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Walmart experienced a soft end to an otherwise solid year of profit and sales growth as customers started to hold back because of payroll tax increases, higher gasoline prices and delays in income tax refunds.

The company reported fourth-quarter profit gains of 8.6 percent Thursday. Same-store sales — sales at stores open at least a year — grew 1 percent in the fourth quarter. That's below the 1.5 percent growth analysts were expecting.

"We didn't finish quite as strong as we would have liked, primarily due to a slower holiday season," Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley said in a conference call Thursday. He said the company had a sales lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas because of an extra week between the two holidays.

The end of January also didn't fare well, as customers started to experience the impact of a 2-percentage-point payroll tax increase and a three-week delay in tax refunds.

USER COMMENTS
Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus