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Wal-Mart Boosts Guidance

January same-store sales rise 2.3%.
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posted a 2.3% rise in same-store sales for January and said earnings for the year ended Jan. 31, 2002, will be slightly higher than expected.

The world's biggest company by revenue said overall January sales were $17.391 billion, up 12.9% from $15.399 billion last year. Sales at its Wal-Mart division were $10.631 billion, up 11.2% from $9.562 billion last year. Sales at its Sam's Club stores were $2.242 billion, up 7.0% from $2.096 billion last year.

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Wal-Mart said it expects to earn $1.80 a share in the year ended this week, about 2 cents better than the consensus forecast as compiled by First Call.

The shares closed Wednesday at $46.74.