Updated from 9:15 a.m. EDTWal-Mart ( WMT), the world's largest retailer, gave an upbeat forecast for its quarterly earnings on Thursday, but its shares were falling after its monthly same-store sales missed estimates. The company said its earnings from continuing operations for the first quarter will be toward the high end of the range of 72 cents to 77 cents a share it offered in February. On average, analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial are looking for 76 cents. However, Wal-Mart's projection came as the merchandiser said its total U.S. same-store sales rose 1.4%, excluding the impact of fuel sales, for the five weeks ended April 3. Expectations were for an increase more on the order of 3%.
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