Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Thursday tempered its profit forecast for the next two fiscal years due to investments in its online business, and the world’s largest retailer said store openings would slow.
The company is holding its annual investor day, where it is expected to report on its progress in e-commerce. Its shares fell 1.9 percent in premarket trading.
Wal-Mart said it expected flat earnings for the year ending on Jan. 31, 2018, with capital expenditures of about $11 billion. It had previously forecast profit growth.
The company has accelerated its investment in e-commerce and digital efforts from about $300 million in 2013 to $1.1 billion this year for a total of about $3 billion, excluding acquisitions, according to public filings and earnings reports.
Wal-Mart also recently spent more than $3 billion to buy e-commerce startup Jet.com.
E-commerce accounts for about 3 percent of Wal-Mart’s overall sales.
Wal-Mart said it expected earnings-per-share growth of 5 percent in fiscal 2019. It previously forecast an increase of 5 percent to 10 percent.
The company reiterated its earnings forecast of $4.29 to $4.49 for this fiscal year. Excluding items, profit will be $4.15 to $4.35 per share, the company said in a statement.