Wal-Mart Same-Store Sales Top Forecasts

Wal-Mart's same-store sales in January topped forecasts and the retailer said it will start providing sales guidance on a 13-weeks basis, rather than monthly.
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Wal-Mart

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, the world's No. 1 retailer, said same-store sales in January rose 2.1%, while total sales rose 1.8% to $27.74 billion.

Without fuel, same-store sales rose 1.5%, Wal-Mart said Thursday.

Analysts were expecting the retailer to post a same-store sales increase of 1.1%. Wal-Mart had forecast sales to be flat to up 2%.

Wal-Mart said it will start providing sales guidance beginning with the new fiscal year, which began on Feb. 1, on a basis of 13 weeks, rather than monthly.

"Rather than providing monthly guidance 12 times a year, we will provide 13-week guidance four times a year," said Tom Schoewe, executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We believe this guidance is a more appropriate measure for our investors, particularly in volatile times when consumer swings are more difficult to predict."

Wal-Mart said it expects U.S. comparable sales without fuel for the period from Jan. 31 to March 1 to increase between 1% to 3%.