WAL-MART PREDICTS GAINS IN FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week said it expects its financial performance to improve in 2005 as fuel prices stabilize and the economy strengthens.the current year will be at the low end of the 3% to 5% range. The early Easter this year should strengthen March comparisons and weaken comparative sales for April, the company said.Food sales at supercenters grew by 18% in the recently

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week said it expects its financial performance to improve in 2005 as fuel prices stabilize and the economy strengthens.

the current year will be at the low end of the 3% to 5% range. The early Easter this year should strengthen March comparisons and weaken comparative sales for April, the company said.

Food sales at supercenters grew by 18% in the recently ended fourth quarter, including comparable-store increases of food sales in

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