Walmart is the second major big-box retailer to lower earnings guidance in recent weeks as consumer spending on non-essentials is slowing amid the highest price surges for food and fuel in four decades.
Ben Bienvenu, a retail analyst with Stephens Inc., said while the message has been clear that inventory would pressure near-term margins, and investors have been bracing for this, updated commentary shows the magnitude to be larger than Walmart and investors expected.
“We have an overweight (buy) rating on the stock, but our estimates are under review pending further assessment of this update,” he said. (Stephens conducts investment banking services for Walmart and is compensated accordingly.)
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