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Wal-Mart Q3 profit below estimates


10:54, November 16, 2011


WASHINGTON, Nov. 15 (Xinhua) -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, saw its third-quarter profit below analysts' estimates as it cut prices to boost sales.

The company said Tuesday in a statement that net income for the quarter ending Oct. 31 declined 2.9 percent from a year earlier to 3.34 billion U.S. dollars, or 97 cents per share, lower than projected 98 cents.

Net sales for the same stretch were 109.5 billion dollars, an increase of 8.2 percent from last year, among which net sales from international market increased about 20 percent to 32.4 billion dollars.

The stores are continuing a strategy of investing in low prices, said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart president and CEO.

Wal-Mart did not pass higher prices charged by suppliers to customers suffering persistent unemployment, said Bill Simon, Wal-Mart's U.S. chief, adding that the gross profit margin was hurt and may continue to narrow in the fourth quarter.

The diluted earnings per share in the fourth quarter is expected between 1.42 dollars and 1.48 dollars, and the whole year earnings per share may fall between 4.45 dollars and 4.51 dollars, said the company statement.

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