Wal-Mart Earnings Jump 39 Percent
BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Wal-Mart Stores. Inc.’s first-quarter earnings rose by 39 percent from a year ago, boosted by strong sales at its discount stores and warehouse clubs.
The nation’s largest retailer reported Tuesday that it earned $1.11 billion, or 25 cents a share, in the quarter ended April 30, compared with $828 million, or 18 cents a share, a year ago.
Sales were $34.7 billion, a 16 percent gain over the same period last year. Sales at Wal-Mart’s U.S. discount stores and supercenters rose 15 percent in the quarter, while sales climbed 26 percent in its international division. Its Sam’s Clubs warehouse stores saw a 11 percent gain in revenues.
Sales at stores open more than a year, an industry gauge of performance, rose 9.3 percent.
Wal-Mart’s results topped Wall Street analysts’ expectations. Its stock closed up $2.12 1/2 at $47.31 1/4 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Wal-Mart continues to dominate the retailing industry, attracting shoppers with its affordable prices and wide selection.
It was Wal-Mart’s fourth consecutive quarter of earnings in excess of $1 billion and the highest net income ever reported by the company in a non-Christmas quarter, said president and CEO David Glass.
During the quarter, Wal-Mart opened nine discount stores and 27 Supercenters, which includes 21 expanded or relocated discount stores. Two new Sam’s Club stores and nine international units _ one in Canada, one in China and seven in Mexico _ were also opened.
At the end of the quarter, the company operated 1,857 Wal-Mart stores, 591 Supercenters, 453 Sam’s Clubs in the United States. Internationally, Wal-Mart operated 13 stores in Argentina, 14 in Brazil, 154 in Canada, 95 in Germany, 423 in Mexico, and 15 in Puerto Rico, and under joint venture agreements in six stores in China and four in Korea.