BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Store here said Friday at its annual shareholders meeting that it would cut back on supercenter development for the next few years — opening a mere 190-200 in the U.S. rather than the previously projected 265-270. For the following three years, plans call for about 170 new supercenters per year. Included in this year’s count are 70 relocations and 40 expansions of traditional discount stores. International expansion, as well as growth of the Sam’s Club chain, will remain at previously disclosed levels. Capital expenditures for the current fiscal year are projected to be about $15.5 billion, down from the previously projected $17 billion. The news may have been the driving factor in a sharp rise in some supermarket stocks on Friday, analysts said. Wal-Mart also said it would allocate $15 billion for share repurchases, replacing the remaining $3.3 billion of the company’s previous $10 billion repurchase plan.
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