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Wal-Mart profit beats expectations, stock rises

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: August 18th, 2016 | 0 Comments

Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N), the world’s largest retailer, reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as sales at its established U.S. stores rose for the eighth consecutive quarter, sending its shares up more than 3 percent.

Excluding a non-cash gain from the sale of Wal-Mart’s e-commerce business in China and other items, earnings per share came to $1.07 in the second quarter ended on July 31. That exceeded the analysts’ average estimate of $1.02, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The retailer had forecast 95 cents to $1.08.

Wal-Mart said sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 1.6 percent, excluding fuel price fluctuations. That is stronger than market expectations for a rise of 1 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart said it would invest $2.7 billion over two years to increase entry-level wages to $10 an hour, a move the retailer said has led to cleaner stores, faster checkouts and improved customer service.

Store visits increased 1.2 percent in the second quarter.

Wal-Mart outperformed a string of weak results by competitors. On Wednesday, rival Target Corp (TGT.N) cut its full year profit forecast and reported a drop in quarterly sales due to weakness in its electronics and grocery departments.

Shares of Wal-Mart were trading up 3.5 percent at $75.48 before the market opened. At Wednesday’s close, the stock had risen nearly 19 percent this year.

(Additional reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Lisa Von Ahn)

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