Wal-Mart's Q3 sales up but profits slip 2.9%

Bentonville, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Tuesday posted the first quarterly revenue gain in its U.S. namesake business in more than two years, but the discounter's profit was down 2.9%. Profit for the quarter ended Oct. 31 was $3.33 billion, missing Wall Street expectations.

Revenue overall rose 8.2% to $109.5 billion, beating analysts’ predicted $108.86 billion. Most notably, the retailer recorded a 2.7% revenue rise in its U.S. Wal-Mart division, reversing nine consecutive quarters of sales declines. Sales at its Sam’s Club division rose 9.5%, and international sales surged 20.3%.

Same-store sales at Wal-Mart's U.S. namesake division rose 1.3%, beating estimates for a 0.3% increase.

Wal-Mart has been working to rekindle U.S. sales, which account for 62% of its total revenue. Some of its strategies include inventory restoration, a return to everyday low pricing and holiday programs that include a Christmas price guarantee, layaway services and free online shipping.

“The plan is working," said Mike Duke, CEO of Wal-Mart, in a pre-recorded call released Tuesday. "Customers are responding favorably."

Like most retailers, Wal-Mart is counting on the upcoming holiday shopping season to help get cost-conscious shoppers spending.

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