Wal-Mart Climbs After Earnings Beat

Wal-Mart reported fourth-quarter earnings below those of a year earlier, but the numbers on an adjusted basis exceeded the estimate of analysts.
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Updated from 12:15 p.m. EST

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

, the world's No. 1 retailer, reported fourth-quarter earnings of $3.8 billion, or 96 cents a share, compared with year-earlier earnings of $4.1 billion, or $1.02 a share.

The retailer said underlying or adjusted earnings in the quarter were $1.03 a share. The figure excludes litigation charges of about $255 million.

Revenue including membership and other income in the quarter rose to $109.1 billion from $107.3 billion a year earlier. Net sales in the quarter were $108 billion compared with $106.2 billion in the prior year.

Sales in the U.S. were $71.5 billion in the quarter, up from $67.4 billion a year earlier. International sales fell 8.4% to $24.7 billion.

Wal-Mart said international sales were hurt by the lower value of currencies vs. the U.S. dollar. On a constant currency basis, international sales rose 9% in the quarter.

In a statement Tuesday, Wal-Mart said its fourth-quarter earnings of 96 cents a share exceeded its most recent guidance of 91 cents to 94 cents a share, while the underlying earnings exceeded the estimates of analysts.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected the retailer to report fourth-quarter earnings of 99 cents a share on revenue of $109.1 billion.

The company said it expects first-quarter earnings of 72 cents to 77 cents a share, and fiscal-year 2010 earnings of $3.45 to $3.60 a share.

Analysts expect first-quarter earnings of 77 cents a share and fiscal 2010 earnings of $3.59 a share.

Shares of Wal-Mart gained 3.7% to $48.24. The stock was the only advancer on the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

.