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Wal-Mart posts flat profit for 1st quarter

May 15, 2009|Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, ARK. — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a flat first-quarter profit Thursday as revenue from its huge international operations was hurt by the stronger dollar.

The world's largest retailer earned $3.02 billion, or 77 cents a share, for the period ended April 30. That was flat from a year earlier. Revenue fell 0.6% to $93.47 billion.

The results met the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who projected profit of 77 cents a share on revenue of $96.37 billion.

Wal-Mart said earnings were hurt by 4 cents a share because of currency exchange rates. Without that, the Bentonville, Ark., company said, sales would have risen 4.5% to $98.31 billion. Accenting the company's exposure to currency fluctuations, nearly a quarter of Wal-Mart's sales for the quarter -- 22.7% -- came from its international division.

The stronger dollar has been hurting many companies that have large overseas businesses. Most U.S. companies that sell goods internationally convert sales from other currencies into dollars when they report their financial results. If the dollar strengthens relative to those currencies, the international revenue translates into fewer dollars.

Wal-Mart said it expected to earn 83 cents to 88 cents a share in its second quarter.

Wal-Mart shares fell 93 cents, or 1.9%, to $49.10.

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