NEW YORK --

Wal-Mart Stores

(WMT) - Get Report

, the world's largest retailer, reported Thursday first-quarter earnings of $3.74 billion, or $1.09 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $3.39 billion, or 97 cents a share.

Analysts, on average, were looking for a profit of $1.04 a share in the April-ended period on sales of $110.54 billion.

The retailer announced Wednesday that it anticipates second-quarter earnings of between $1.13 and $1.18 a share; analysts are expecting $1.16 a share.

Shares of Wal-Mart roes 2.97% in premarket trading Thursday to $60.95.

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Sears Holdings

(SHLD)

reported first-quarter profit of $189 million, or $1.78 a share, a reversal from a year-earlier loss of $170 million, or $1.58 a share.

The latest quarter included about $200 million of gains from the sale of some U.S. and Canadian stores

Sears posted an adjusted first-quarter loss of 31 cents a share, compared with an adjusted year-earlier loss of $1.34 a share.

The retailer was expected by analysts to post a quarterly loss of 67 cents a share.

Sears shares rose 3.93% to $52.87 in premarket trading Thursday.

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Agilent Technologies

(A) - Get Report

announced Thursday that it is making its largest acquisition to date of Denmark cancer diagnostic firm

Dako

for $2.2 billion.

Shares of Agilent rose 3.12% to $41.00 in premarket trading Thursday.

Network equipment maker

Brocade

(BRCD)

is expected to post

first-quarter results

after the bell Thursday and analysts expect profit of 12 cents a share on sales of $541.4 million.

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Limited Brands

(LTD)

, the specialty retailer, whose brands include Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works, said Wednesday it expects second-quarter earnings of 40 cents to 45 cents a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for a profit of 50 cents a share in the July-ending quarter. For the full year, Limited said it expects earnings of $2.63 to $2.83 a share; Wall Street's current consensus estimate is $2.83 a share.

Shares of Limited fell 2.13% in premarket trading Thursday to $46.94.

Gap

(GPS) - Get Report

is expected by analysts to post first-quarter earnings of 46 cents a share on revenue of $3.47 billion.

Boyd Gaming

(BYD) - Get Report

announced Wednesday that it is acquiring

Peninsula Gaming

for $1.45 billion.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Joseph Woelfel

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