NEW YORK — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, but Target’s gains were driven by sales comps that bested its competitor.

Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, said it earned $3.16 billion, or 75 cents a share, for the quarter ended Jan. 31, compared with $2.72 billion, or 63 cents, last year. Revenue rose 10.4 percent to $82.2 billion from $74.5 billion, with sales at its core Wal-Mart stores rising to $55.5 billion from $50.6 billion. Total comps for retail operations for the period increased 1.5 percent, with same-store sales at Wal-Mart stores rising 1.4 percent.

Target, the number two U.S. discounter, reported income of $825 million, or 91 cents, versus $823 million, or 90 cents, last year. The results included a gain from the sale of its Marshall Field’s and Mervyn’s operations.

Sales from Target stores increased 11.1 percent to $14.9 billion from $13.4 billion, while total revenues, including contributions from its credit card business, gained 11.1 percent to $15.2 billion from $13.7 billion. Same-store sales gains for stores open at least one year were 5.4 percent.

For more see Friday’s WWD.