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Wal-Mart Sees Big Month

It pegs same-store sales growth at 4.4%.
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(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

, whose strong sales guidance one month ago presaged a blowout June for retailers, says July receipts also look good.

The No. 1 retailer said over the weekend that July same-store sales are expected to have risen 4.4% from a year ago, at the high end of its previous range of 3% to 5%.

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In June, Wal-Mart's same-store sales rose a sturdy 4.5% from a year earlier, although company executives subsequently warned that the month's outperformance wouldn't translate into profit upside due to "cost pressures."

Still, the monthly results -- which Wal-Mart announces five days ahead of the rest of the industry -- was harbinger of a strong June in which overall sales growth was about 5.3%.

In July, Wal-Mart said, the larger size of the average purchase drove the gain in same-store sales, while the West was its strongest region.

The shares added 50 cents, or 1%, to $49.85 on Instinet.