Wal-Mart ( WMT) reported December sales Thursday that were consistent with previous estimates, and said sales should be reasonably brisk in the current month.

The nation's top retailer said same-store sales results rose 3% in December over last year, reflecting a 2.6% gain at its flagship chain and a 5.4% improvement at Sam's Club. Overall sales were $38.42 billion in December, up 13.4% from a year ago.

The company forecast the 3% December comps growth in a recorded call on Monday.

For January, Wal-Mart expects same-store sales to rise between 2% and 4% compared with January 2004.

Wal-Mart closed at $53.29 Wednesday, up 7 cents, or 0.1%.