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Wal-Mart's first-quarter comparable sales beat estimates

Reuters  |  CHICAGO 

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly comparable sales on Thursday, helped by greater traffic at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores and a rise in online sales.

Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter, excluding fuel. Analysts polled by research firm Consesus Metrix had forecast a rise of 1.3 percent.

Earnings per share for the world's largest retailer rose to $1 in the quarter ended April 30, from 98 cents per share in the same period a year ago. Consolidated net income fell to $3.04 billion from $3.08 billion due to an increase in the tax rate.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Chicag; Editing by W Simon)

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