Wal-Mart Lowers Capital-Spending Forecast

Bentonville, Ark. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reducing its capital-spending forecast for fiscal 2009, as it slows construction of supercenters amid a weakening U.S economic environment.

The retailer said Tuesday it expects to spend $13 billion to $14 billion during the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2009. Last October, the company said it expected to spend $13.5 billion to $15.2 billion.

CFO Tom Schoewe said the lower forecast "reflects Wal-Mart's ability to grow more efficiently with reduced capital expenditures." He said the company plans moderating supercenter growth in the United States.

Schoewe told shareholders at its annual meeting in Fayetteville, Ark., earlier this month that capital spending would likely be at the low end of the projected range. While capital reductions have occurred across the entire company, the most significant have been with its Wal-Mart U.S. operations, according to company officials.