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    Wal-Mart's Third-quarter Sales Jump 11.5 Percent

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. - The world's largest retailer on Tuesday reported record sales and earnings for the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2002, including a 23 percent jump in profits.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. - The world's largest retailer on Tuesday reported record sales and earnings for the quarter ended Oct. 31, 2002, including a 23 percent jump in profits.

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said total sales were $58.797 billion, an increase of 11.5 percent over the similar prior year quarter. Net income for the quarter was $1.820 billion, up from $1.481 billion for the similar prior year quarter.

    Net sales for the nine months ended Oct. 31, 2002, were $173.451 billion, an increase of 12.9 percent over the similar prior year period. Net income for the nine months increased 22.9 percent to a record $5.510 billion or $1.24 earnings per share, up from $4.482 billion or $1.00 earnings per share.

    Lee Scott, President and CEO said, "In a challenging economic environment and with slowing comparable store sales growth, we achieved another quarter of record sales and earnings. Net income grew by almost 23 percent on a sales increase of 11.5 percent. Going into the important holiday selling season, we feel confident we are well positioned for a successful and record fourth quarter."

    Some analysts said they expect Wal-Mart to perform better than most retailers in what's predicted to be a mediocre holiday season as the sluggish economy and waning consumer confidence crimp spending.

    For the third quarter, the Wal-Mart Stores segment, including Supercenters, had operating profit of $2.681 billion, an increase of 15.5 percent compared with $2.322 billion for the similar period in the previous year.

    The SAM'S CLUB segment had an operating profit for the quarter of $240 million, a decrease of 2.4 percent compared with $246 million for the similar period in the previous year.

    The International segment had an operating profit of $447 million for the most recent quarter, an increase of 42.4 percent compared with $314 million for the similar period in the previous year.

    As of Oct. 31, 2002, the company had 1,567 Wal-Mart stores, 1,243 Supercenters, 522 SAM'S CLUBS and 39 Neighborhood Markets in the United States. Internationally, the Company operated units in Argentina (11), Brazil (22), Canada (201), China (22), Germany (95), Korea (14), Mexico (587), Puerto Rico (19) and United Kingdom (256).

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