NEW YORK — The nation’s two top discounters reported first-quarter results on Thursday, and Wal-Mart missed Wall Street estimates by 1 cent while Target beat expectations by 2 cents.

Wal-Mart posted a 13.6 percent gain in income to $2.46 billion, or 58 cents a diluted share, on a sales increase of 9.5 percent to $70.9 billion. Excluding the benefit of 3 cents per share from tax and legal resolutions, the company earned 55 cents a share, 1 cent below Wall Street consensus estimates.

While the discounter achieved record results for the quarter, it was still below plan because of the impact of higher gasoline prices, as well as cooler and wetter spring than normal, Lee Scott, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The world’s largest retailer will make the “necessary adjustments and I anticipate better results in the second half of the year,” Scott’s statement said.

In contrast, Target reported at 14.4 percent rise in income to $494 million, or 55 cents, on a 12.7 percent gain in sales to $11.2 billion. Wall Street expected earnings per share at 53 cents. The sales increase was due to a 6.2 percent jump in same-store sales, as well as contribution from new store expansion and the company’s credit card operation.

Bob Ulrich, chairman and ceo, said in a statement that Target’s performance reflected its discipline in “executing our strategy and success in delighting guests with the right combination of innovation, design and value.”

— Vicki M. Young

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