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said first-quarter earnings beat analysts' estimates by a penny, and total revenue rose 12.7% from a year ago, driven by an increase in same-store sales combined with the contribution from new stores and the retailer's credit card operations.

For the quarter ended April 30, the company earned $494 million, or 55 cents a share, compared with a profit from continuing operations of $392 million, or 43 cents a share, in the previous year. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 54 cents a share.

"We are pleased with our first-quarter results," the company said in a press release Thursday. "We are optimistic about our ability to sustain our competitive advantage and remain confident that we will continue to enjoy profitable market share growth throughout 2005 and beyond."

Total revenue in the first quarter rose to $11.48 billion from $10.18 billion in 2004. Same-store sales rose 6.2%. Total revenue includes retail sales and net credit revenue. Actual sales were $11.17 billion, vs. $9.91 billion last year.

Also Thursday, the world's largest retailer,



, said it earned $2.5 billion, 58 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with $2.2 billion, or 50 cents a share, last year. Sales rose 9.5% from a year ago to $71.7 billion. Adjusted for items, Wal-Mart earned 55 cents a share in the most recent quarter.