BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores said sales and earnings were up for the third quarter and nine-month period that ended Oct. 31, with comparable-store sales flat in the quarter and lower than they were a year ago for the year to date. Net income rose 7.9% to $2.9 billion for the quarter and 17.6% to $8.6 billion for the nine months, while sales jumped 8.8% to $90.9 billion for the quarter and 8.7% to $$268.3 billion for the year to date. Comps in the U.S., excluding fuel, were flat at 1.5% for the quarter and up 1.4% for the nine months, compared with a 2.3% increase a year earlier. The company said third-quarter results reflected improved performance of the company's U.S. operations, with both Wal-Mart Stores and Sam's Club increasing profits faster than sales. The company said it expects fourth-quarter comps to fall between flat and up 2%.
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