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Wal-Mart on Thursday reported mixed results for the third quarter ending Oct. 31, an indication that its core lower income customer is still struggling with high unemployment and high gas prices. Sales for the third quarter rose 3.4 percent to $113.20 billion, missing analysts’ average forecast of $114.96 billion.
The retail giant earned $3.64 billion, or $1.08 a share, compared with $3.34 billion, or 97 cents a share, a year earlier.
Net sales were $113.2 billion, a 3.4 percent increase over last year.
Currency exchange rate fluctuations negatively impacted net sales by about $1.7 billion. Without the currency impact, net sales would have been $114.9 billion, a 4.9 percent increase.
Walmart U.S. posted a 1.5 percent increase in comp-store sales in the 13-week period ended Oct. 26. Sam’s Club’s same-store sales, without fuel, rose 2.7 percent. Walmart International’s sales rose 2.4 percent to $33.2 billion; on a constant currency basis.
“Price will continue to be a major factor for customers over the holidays,” said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart Stores ceo, during a conference call. “Our strong price position and broad assortment are clear competitive advantages in an economy where customers may still be cautious with their budgets.”