Wal-Mart's April Sales Rise 6.8%

The number tops the retailer's own forecast for 4% to 6% growth.
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Wal-Mart¿s (SYMBOL) sales bounced back in April, driven by strong Easter-related shopping.

The world¿s largest retailer Saturday estimated that same-store sales rose 6.8% during the month, topping its own forecast for an increase of 4% to 6%. The company attributed the strength to Easter falling three weeks later this year than in 2005. A key industry metric, same-store sales measures results at stores open for at least one year.

The increase follows a measly 1.4% gain in March, which the Bentonville, Ark.-based company had blamed on this year¿s late Easter.

Along with other retailers, Wal-Mart plans to release complete April numbers Thursday. Rival

Target

(TGT) - Get Report

has forecast 10% growth for the month.

Shares of Wal-Mart ended the week at $45.16.