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Wal-Mart Updates Q4 Guidance

The company sees Q4 earnings per share at the low-end of its guidance range.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Friday that it now expects diluted earnings per share at the low-end of its guidance range.

“We now anticipate that our underlying EPS for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 will be at or slightly below the low end of our range of $1.60 to $1.70,” said Charles Holley, Wal-Mart’s chief financial officer.

He said the range for the full year will be at or slightly below the low end of its range of $5.11 to $5.21.

In part, the restructuring of Sam’s Club is hurting Wal-Mart’s bottom line, as are contingencies related to some of its overseas operations. Those include store closures in Brazil and China and the termination of its franchise and supply agreements in India.

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As for its U.S. operations, the company said comparable-store sales for the 14-week period ending Jan. 31, 2014, without fuel, is expected to be slightly negative to the guidance provided when the firm reported third quarter results on Nov. 14. At that time, the company had expected comps to be between flat and 2 percent.

Holley also said that the reduction in food stamps benefits that occurred on Nov. 1 had a greater impact than expected, and that eight winter storms hurt store traffic when certain stores had to be closed.

The company will report fourth quarter and full year results on Feb. 20.