BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Stock in Wal-Mart Stores here slid about 5% yesterday after the retailer reduced its profit forecast for the year and said consumers seem pressured by the economy. In a conference call discussing results for the second quarter, Wal-Mart lowered its earnings guidelines for the year by about 3%, to a range of $3.05 to $3.13 per share, with expectations that third-quarter comps will rise 1% to 3% and earnings for the quarter will be in the range of 62 to 65 cents. Net income for the second quarter that ended July 31 rose 49.1% to $3.1 million, while sales increased 8.8% to $92 billion. Comparable-store sales in the U.S. rose 1.9% for the quarter and 1.3% for the half, excluding fuel; food comps were up "in the mid-single digits," the company noted, and food sales at supercenters rose more than 14% during the quarter.
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