Wal-Mart Earnings Dip But Sales Rise At US Stores

Wal-Mart Stores scored another increase in sales at its US namesake stores in first-quarter results released Thursday, but earnings dipped on higher expenses.

The world’s biggest retailer reported earnings of $3.0 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2018, down 1.3 percent from the year-ago period.

Revenues were up 1.4 percent at $117.5 billion.

The results reflected Wal-Mart’s efforts to lure customers to US stores through upgrades to infrastructure, better customer service after boosting worker pay and enhanced e-commerce offerings.

These efforts have pressured earnings in recent quarters due to higher expenses, while producing gains in Wal-Mart’s comparable store sales in the US, a closely-watched benchmark that rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter.

“We delivered a solid first quarter and we’re encouraged by the start of the year,” said chief executive Doug McMillon. “We’re moving faster to combine our digital and physical assets to make our shipping simple and easy for customers.”

Shares of Wal-Mart rose 0.8 percent in pre-market trading to $75.70.

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