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Wal-Mart Stores Segment Sales Rise 9.3%

Bentonville, Ark. — Even though Wal-Mart reported record fiscal first-quarter financial results, the giant retailer said it “missed its plan” due to higher gasoline prices and a cooler and wetter spring than normal, and that it was “making the necessary adjustments,” thus anticipating better results in the year’s second half.

Nevertheless, the company’s Wal-Mart Stores segment recorded a 9.3 percent increase in sales, hitting $47.6 billion, up from a year-ago $43.6 billion. Same-store sales rose 2.8 percent.

The Wal-Mart Stores segment, including its supercenters, reported first-quarter operating income of $3.3 billion, an increase of 6 percent over the $3.1 billion recorded in the first quarter of last year.

Wal-Mart’s wholesale club operation, Sam’s Club, enjoyed a 5.9 percent sales increase in the first three months, ended April 30, rising to $9.2 billion from a year-earlier $8.6 billion. Same-store sales moved up 3.5 percent.

The Sam’s Club segment generated operating income in the first quarter of $295 million, a healthy 10.5 percent rise over the $267 million year-over-year.

Consolidated first-quarter Wal-Mart sales jumped 9.5 percent in the first three months, reaching $70.9 billion, up from $64.8 billion year-on-year. Operating income in the first three months totaled $3.9 billion, compared with a year-ago $3.6 billion. Net income rose to $2.5 billion, an increase of 13.2 percent when compared with the $2.2 billion registered in the same period in 2005.

First-quarter earnings in the current fiscal year were favorably impacted by two items totaling $145 million after tax, said Wal-Mart. These were tax resolutions of $77 million and positive legal developments of $68 million.