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    Wal-Mart Reports 9.5 Percent Rise in Earnings

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. today reported a 9.5 percent rise in earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter, The Associated Press reports.

    BENTONVILLE, Ark. - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. today reported a 9.5 percent rise in earnings for its fourth fiscal quarter, The Associated Press reports.

    The retailer earned $2.19 billion, or 49 cents a share, for the three months ended Jan. 31, up from $2.00 billion, or 45 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $64.8 billion from $57.1 billion a year ago.

    Sales at Wal-Mart's stores reached $64.2 billion, and sales at stores open at least a year were up 6.9 percent.

    "We had a good ending to a difficult year," Wal-Mart president and chief executive Lee Scott said.

    For the fiscal year, Wal-Mart earned a record $6.67 billion, or $1.49 a share, up 6 percent from $6.30 billion, or $1.40 a share, a year ago. Annual revenue rose to $219.8 billion from $193.3 billion a year ago.

    During the fiscal year, Wal-Mart added, relocated or expanded 48 Sam's stores, 178 Supercenters, 37 discount stores, 12 Neighborhood Markets, and 107 international stores. It also closed one discount store.

    Wal-Mart has 1,647 Wal-Mart stores, 1,066 Supercenters, 500 Sam's Clubs and 31 Neighborhood Markets in the United States as well as more than 1,100 stores overseas.

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