NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT: 5.54-0.48-0.86%) said Thursday that December same-store sales rose 1.7% excluding fuel, falling short of the estimate for an increase of 2.8% in a survey of analysts by Thomson Reuters. In the year-ago period, Wal-Mart said same-store sales rose 2.4%. "Due to the difficult economy and severe winter weather in some regions, the holiday season was more challenging for retailers than expected," said Eduardo Castro-Wright, vice chairman, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The retailing giant also cut its forecast for fourth-quarter earnings from continuing operations to a range of 91 cents to 94 cents a share, compared to its prior view of $1.03 to $1.07 a share. The company cited higher expenses and lower-than-expected sales at Sam's Club and Wal-Mart International.

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Comment by Dan Nuroo on January 8, 2009 at 8:16am
Sales still rose though right? Just not as much as hoped? correct? still made more money than previously or have I misread it
Comment by Steve Levy on January 8, 2009 at 8:23am
Analysts expected earnings of $1.06/share so a cut to the 91-94 cents/share doesn't qualify as a bullish report. Let the PR machine start working its magic.


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