Supercenters Target of '09 Cap Ex Forecast Cut at Wal-Mart

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Supercenters Target of '09 Cap Ex Forecast Cut at Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. said yesterday it plans to cut its capital expenditure forecast for the current fiscal year, ending Jan. 31, 2009, because it can "grow more efficiently with reduced capital expenditures." The change primarily impacts the growth of its supercenter format.

Speaking at the William Blair Growth Stock Conference in Chicago, Wal-Mart e.v.p. and c.f.o. Tom Schoewe said Wal-Mart expects capital expenditures for the company to fall within a range of $13.0 to $14.0 billion for fiscal year 2009.

"This range, based on our latest projections, is lower than the $13.5 to $15.2 billion range we provided last October, and it reflects Wal-Mart's ability to grow more efficiently with reduced capital expenditures," Schoewe said. "We first announced our capital efficiency model and reduction in capital expenditures in June 2007. We continue to be focused in the United States on moderating supercenter growth."

Wal-Mart shares declined 1 percent, or 57 cents, to $58.74 in afternoon New York Stock Exchange trading.

Wal-Mart said it will report U.S. comparable store sales for the June sales period and provide an update to its earnings per share guidance for the second quarter of the current fiscal year on July 10.