Earnings Scorecard
Actual Estimated* Year-Ago
$0.45 $0.44 $0.43

Wal-Mart Stores ( WMT) posted fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts' lowered expectations by a penny, thanks to a 3.1% rise in same-store sales for the quarter.

The Bentonville, Ark., retailer said fourth-quarter earnings were $2 billion, or 45 cents a share, compared with $1.9 billion, or 43 cents a share, in the same period last year. According to a poll by First Call/Thomson Financial, 22 analysts expected fourth-quarter earnings of 44 cents a share.

Sales for the quarter were $56.6 billion, up from $51.4 billion last year.

"It was a good year but a year that was not quite up to our high Wal-Mart expectations. In a difficult economic environment, we will spend almost $9 billion in capital expenditures and add approximately 8% to our retail square footage," the company said.

Wal-Mart closed at $52.36 in Friday trading on the New York Stock Exchange, near the middle of its 52-week range of $41.40 to $64.90.

If you liked this article you might like

Durable Goods Orders Fall; Jobless Claims Tick Higher

Durable Goods Orders Fall; Jobless Claims Tick Higher

Tire-Kickers Like What They See in Auto Dealers

Tire-Kickers Like What They See in Auto Dealers

Retailers' Choice Words Turn Heads

Retailers' Choice Words Turn Heads

Consumer Hangs Around for Holidays

Consumer Hangs Around for Holidays

The Night Watch: Ariba Keeps Partying

The Night Watch: Ariba Keeps Partying