Wal-Mart Posts Flat 1Q Profit

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Wal-Mart Posts Flat 1Q Profit

05/15/2009
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a flat first-quarter profit due to its international operations being hurt by the stronger dollar, according to an AP report. The company’s revenue fell 0.6 percent to $93.47 billion, from $94.04 billion a year earlier. It earned $3.02 billion, or 77 cents per share, for the period ended April 30, which was flat from a year earlier.

As AP reported, these results met the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who projected 77 cents per share on revenues of $96.37 billion.

Wal-Mart reported that earnings were hurt by 4 cents per share because of currency exchange rates. Without that impact, the company said sales would have risen 4.5 percent to $98.31 billion. The company's exposure to currency fluctuations is heightened because nearly a quarter of Wal-Mart's sales for the quarter—22.7 percent—came from its international division.

Still, AP reported that Wal-Mart has been one of the "few bright spots" in retail, performing better than Target Corp. and Costco Wholesale Corp.

Wal-Mart is reportedly benefiting as shoppers concentrate on necessities like groceries. The company hopes to keep the gains it is making in market share.

"When economic conditions improve, we believe customers who shop Wal-Mart today will stay with us because of the business improvements we're making and continue to make," stated Mike Duke, president and CEO. "Across the company, we are building our brand by reducing costs, sharpening our merchandising and updating our stores."

Last week, Wal-Mart reported that same-store sales rose 5 percent in April, surpassing the 2.9 percent gain expected by Wall Street. The figure excludes fuel sales.

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