Wal-Mart 3Q Sales Up 8.8%

Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, posted third-quarter earnings Tuesday of $2.86 billion, an 8 percent increase.

Wal-Mart had revenue of $91.95 billion in the period ending Oct. 31, up 8.8 percent from $84.47 billion a year ago.

Third-quarter same-store sales, not counting fuel, were up 1.5 percent, year-over-year. The Bentonville-Atk.-based company said it expects same-store sales for the fourth quarter to rise no more than 2 percent.

Last November, Wal-Mart reported its first negative monthly same-store sales in a decade as a push into higher-end fashion and home decor sold poorly and muddied its low-price image, The Associated Press reports. For the period, November through January, which includes most sales from gift cards redeemed after the holidays, same-store sales slowed to 1.3 percent last year from 7.2 percent in 2001/2002.

Wal-Mart’s early start in this year’s holiday came under a cloud when it reported October same-store sales were flat for the namesake stores, minus Sam’s Clubs, on the back of unseasonably warm weather that hit sales of clothes and other seasonal goods, the AP reports.