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Wal-Mart same-store sales rise 4.3%.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said sales at stores open at least a year rose 4.3 percent in March, while analysts surveyed by First Call were expecting Wal-Mart to report same-store sales growth of 4.4 percent.

And for April, Wal-Mart is forecasting same-store sales ranging from flat to up 2 percent, blaming unseasonable weather for poor sales of apparel and lawn and garden items as well as the early Easter.

Total March sales rose 11.3 percent to $27.98 billion in the five weeks ended April 1, compared with sales of $25.13 billion for the period a year ago.

The world's largest retailer now expects earnings for its fiscal first quarter at the low end of its estimate of 56 cents to 58 cents a share.

Wal-Mart said March same-store sales at its flagship stores rose 4.8 percent, while Sam's Club stores open a year were up 2.1 percent. International sales for the month climbed 14 percent.

For the nine-week period that ended April 1, total sales rose 11.2 percent to $50.34 billion from $45.29 billion.
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Title Annotation:Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Comment:Wal-Mart same-store sales rise 4.3%.(Wal-Mart Stores Inc.)
Publication:Arkansas Business
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 11, 2005
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