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Wal-Mart's March Sales Soar, Gap's Plunge

Ann Taylor raises guidance while Talbots lowers it.
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Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Walmart Inc. Report

said companywide same-store sales rose 9.5% in March from a year ago, while total sales rose 14.5% to $21.489 billion from $18.770 billion last year.

Within its Wal-Mart division, same-store sales rose 10.7% in March, while at Sam's Club they rose 4.1%. Total sales at the Wal-Mart division's sales for the five-week period were $13.947 billion, up 17% over $11.921 billion last year. Sam's Club total March sales were $2.879 billion, up 11.3% from $2.587 billion a year ago.

Among other retailers,

Gap Stores

(GPS) - Get Gap, Inc. Report

said same-store sales plunged 12% in March while total sales were $1.21 billion, down 2% from $1.24 billion.

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J.C. Penney

(JCP) - Get J. C. Penney Company, Inc. Report

said March same-store sales rose 6.8% from last year, while total sales for the five weeks ended March 30 rose 3.5% to $2.97 billion from $2.87 billion a year ago.

AnnTaylor

(ANN)

said March same-store sales rose 3.5% while total sales for the five weeks rose 16.3% to $138.5 million from $119.1 million a year earlier. The company expects first-quarter earnings of 60 cents to 62 cents a share, up from its March guidance of 52 cent to 54 cents a share.

Talbots

(TLB)

said same-store sales rose 3.2% from a year ago while total sales for the five weeks ended April 6 were $177.1 million, up 6% from $166.9 million a year earlier. The company said accelerated markdowns raised revenue but is leading it to cut first-quarter earnings estimates to 53 cents to 55 cents a share, versus a previously forecast 63 cents to 65 cents.