WAL-MART'S FOURTH-QUARTER PROFIT UP 16%

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week reported fourth-quarter profit climbed 16% on a 12% sales gain.Earnings came to $1.09 billion, or 48 cents a share. In the prior-year period, the discounter netted $942 million, or 41 cents.Sales in the fourth quarter jumped 12% to $30.9 billion from $27.6 billion.The Wal-Mart division, comprising discount stores and supercenters, logged an operating

BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores here last week reported fourth-quarter profit climbed 16% on a 12% sales gain.

Earnings came to $1.09 billion, or 48 cents a share. In the prior-year period, the discounter netted $942 million, or 41 cents.

Sales in the fourth quarter jumped 12% to $30.9 billion from $27.6 billion.

The Wal-Mart division, comprising discount stores and supercenters, logged an operating profit of $1.89 billion, up 14.5% from a year earlier. Sales we

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