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Wal-Mart, Home Depot increase second-quarter profit

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

EARNINGS

Wal-Mart profit rises on foreign growth

Wal-Mart Stores reported a 3.6 percent increase in second-quarter net income, earning $3.59 billion thanks to cost-cutting and robust growth in China, Brazil and Mexico. The retailer raised its earnings guidance for the full year.

Sales overall increased almost 3 percent, to $103.7 billion, but a closely watched measure of revenue -- that of stores open at least a year -- fell for the fifth consecutive quarter. The 1.4 percent decrease was led by its U.S. division, where its main customers remain squeezed by high unemployment and tight credit.

The profit results slightly surpassed analyst expectations, but the revenue figure fell short, and the company said that even steep U.S. discounts failed to lift sales. Wal-Mart's international business, which accounts for nearly a quarter of its revenue, rose almost 16 percent, to $25.9 billion.

-- Associated Press

Home Depot makes gains, cuts sales outlook

A modest increase in revenue helped Home Depot boost its net income to $1.19 billion for the second quarter, a 7 percent rise, though the hot weather and economic uncertainty made gardeners and builders hold back on purchases, the company said Tuesday. Revenue rose 2 percent, to $19.41 billion, but the retailer lowered its sales forecast for the year, and the quarterly results fell below analyst expectations.

Revenue at stores open at least one year, a key reading of retailers' performance, rose 1.7 percent worldwide and 1 percent in the United States.

The best-performing categories were lumber, electrical, lighting, plumbing, paint and hardware.


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