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Wal-Mart Posts Higher Q3 Net Sales, Income

Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart today reported worldwide net sales of $97.6 billion for the third quarter of fiscal year 2009, ended Oct. 31, an increase of 7.5 percent, compared with $90.8 billion in the same period last year.

Net income for the quarter was $3.14 billion, from $2.86 billion in the quarter last year.

“We are very pleased with our results this quarter,” said Lee Scott, Wal-Mart Stores president and CEO, in a release. “Despite economic difficulties around the world, we achieved solid sales and earnings growth, and we are optimistic about the upcoming holidays. At a time when our customer is feeling pressure of a tough economy, Wal-Mart’s price leadership is more important than ever.”

Domestically, Wal-Mart U.S. saw net sales of $61.155 billion for the quarter, an increase of 6.1 percent compared with the same prior-year period. Operating income was $4.286 billion, a 7.3 percent increase compared with $3.995 billion in last year’s third quarter. Comp-store sales grew 2.7 percent for the period.

Sam’s Club, the company’s warehouse club division, saw third-quarter net sales of $11.622 billion, up 7.5 percent compared with last year’s third quarter. The division’s operating income increased 1.7 percent, compared with the prior-year period, to $365 million. Comp-store sales rose 4.5 percent.

Comp-store sales for the company’s combined U.S. operations were up 3 percent.

In a recorded address, Eduardo Castro-Wright, president/CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, said the company has “defined seasonal as a win category” and referenced the store’s success in Halloween-related merchandise.

He said consumers are being cautious in their discretionary spending on electronics, but that the company is seeing healthy sales growth in certain electronic categories like gaming and flat-panel TVs. He added that consumers can expect to see a number of entertainment-related CE products featured in Wal-Mart’s Black Friday promotions.

He also said that the sales results from its early holiday promotions last weekend “exceeded expectations.