Such factors all helped to depress results. Wal-Mart earned $3.78 billion, or $1.14 per share, in the quarter that ended April 30. That compares with $3.74 billion, or $1.09 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 1 percent to $113.43 billion. That figure excludes Sam's Club membership fees. Results fell short of Wall Street expectations for earnings of $1.15 per share on revenue of $115.78 billion.
Revenue at stores open at least year, a key measurement for retailers because it excludes the effect of stores that open or close during the year, also fell below expectations.
Wal-Mart reported a 1.4 percent drop in revenue at stores open at least a year at its namesake business, which accounts for about 60 percent of the company's total revenue. That was the first drop since the second quarter of 2011. At Sam's Club, the figure rose just 0.2 percent, held down by less traffic from business customers, bad weather and lower-than-expected inflation.
Wall Street analysts had expected its U.S. namesake business to be unchanged and were projecting a 1.2 percent rise at Sam's Clubs.
Still, Wal-Mart said that business has picked up in May fueled in part because of warmer weather. The company expects revenue at stores opened at least a year to be up as much as 2 percent at its namesake U.S. business.
Internationally, though, Wal-Mart faces slower growth amid a global recession.
A bribery scandal also threatens to slow its business overseas. Allegations first surfaced a year ago that Wal-Mart failed to notify law enforcement that company officials authorized millions of dollars in bribes in Mexico to speed up getting building permits and gain other favors. Wal-Mart has been working with government officials in the U.S. and Mexico on that investigation.
Wal-Mart has already slowed its expansion plans in Mexico, and last November it said it was looking into potential U.S. bribery law violations in Brazil, China and India.
Wal-Mart said that it expects expenses related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act -- which forbids American companies from bribing foreign officials -- to be in the range of $65 million to $70 million in the quarter. The company cited that the figure is higher than the $40 million to $45 million costs it has incurred in past quarters. That's partly because the company is investing more in improving its compliance controls.
Wal-Mart said that it expects earnings per share to be in the range of $1.22 to $1.27 in the current quarter. Analysts had expected $1.29 per share.
Shares fell $1.75 per share, or more than 2 percent, to $78.11 in late morning trading. That's at the high end of its 52-week range of $61.25 to $79.96.