NEW YORK – Walmart Inc on Thursday said profit margins during the first quarter remained under pressure due to price cuts and higher freight costs, weighing on its shares even as sales and earnings came in stronger than expected.
Walmart’s gross margin, which has fallen for four consecutive quarters, was down 23 basis points in the quarter ended April 30. Within the U.S. division, operating income fell 3.1 percent from the prior year.
Shares of the world’s biggest retailer fell 1.3 percent in morning trade after initially opening higher. The stock has fallen around 20 percent from an all-time high in January.