NEW YORK -- Walmart reported Thursday that its first quarter earnings edged higher to $3.8 billion but said comparable sales at its U.S. stores declined.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said its net income was up 1.1% from the previous year's $3.7 billion. Net income per share came in at $1.14, compared with analyst expectations of $1.15.
Walmart said its U.S. comparable store sales declined 1.4% due to a delay in income tax refund checks, "challenging" weather, lower-than-expected grocery inflation and payroll tax increases.
"In a quarter marked by considerable headwinds to top line sales, Walmart delivered solid earnings per share growth of 4.6%," said Mike Duke, chief executive of Walmart.
Comparable store sales at Walmart's Sam's Club chain rose 0.2% in the quarter, excluding fuel sales.
Walmart said its second quarter earnings per share would be between $1.22 and $1.27 per share, below the $1.29 estimated by analysts.
Walmart said it expects expenses in the second quarter related to bribery investigations under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act expected to range from $65-70 million.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013