Bentonville, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores reported Tuesday that profit for the quarter ended July 31 rose to $3.8 billion, up from $3.6 billion in the year-ago period. Overall revenue, up 5.4% to $109.37 billion, topped Wall Street’s expectations.
Yet, the world’s largest retailer is feeling the pinch from a tight economy that is slow to loosen. Wal-Mart U.S., the company's biggest unit, posted a 0.9% drop in same-store sales, the ninth consecutive quarterly drop and beneath analysts' estimates for a 0.6% fall.
"We remain concerned about the economic pressure on our customers and the uncertain impact it can have on their shopping behavior," Wal-Mart U.S. CEO Bill Simon said.
U.S. sales rose 1.8% for the quarter. On the international front, the company remains strong, as sales on a constant currency basis were up 7.1% for the second quarter. Mexico, the United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil and China had the largest sales increases during the quarter.
Wal-Mart continues to ride the success of Sam's Club, as sales for the warehouse club operator rose 5% on a same-store basis.
During the quarter, Wal-Mart Stores opened its first small-concept stores in the United States -- Wal-Mart Express -- and acquired a majority stake in South African retail chain Massmart. The company is also in the throes of overhauling its online business in an effort to improve the e-commerce facet of its business.