• EPS beats consensus
  • Raises FY earnings outlook
  • ID sales down, expected flat in Q4

Wal-Mart said today (12 November) that its third-quarter profits beat analyst expectations despite soft sales gains due to the "difficult" trading environment.

The world's largest retailer booked earnings per share of US$0.84, exceeding consensus estimates of $0.81 and last year's earnings of $0.77 per share.

Wal-Mart's net sales in the three months to 31 October rose 1.1% to $98.7bn. However, same-store sales declined 0.4%.

"The sales environment continued to be difficult this quarter, but customer traffic is up throughout the company," Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke said. Increased productivity and improved inventory management led to a better customer experience and contributed to our strong financial performance."

The company said that identical sales were likely to be flat, plus or minus 1%, in the fourth quarter's key festive trading period.

However, for the full-year Wal-Mart lifted its profit guidance to $3.57-3.61 per share, up from earlier guidance of $3.50-3.60 per share.

For the full earnings release click here, or check back for just-food's insight into Wal-Mart's Q3.