Wal-Mart Profit Rises 26%

Tuesday, August 13th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported a 26 percent rise in second-quarter earnings Tuesday; the results beat analysts' forecast by a penny.

The world's largest retailer reported a profit of $2.04 billion, or 46 cents per share for the period. The giant retailer earned $1.62 billion, or 36 cents per share, in its second quarter a year ago.

A survey of analysts by Thomson First Call forecast second-quarter earnings of 45 cents per share.

Sales grew 13 percent to $59.69 billion. Sales in stores open at least a year, considered the best indicator of a retailer's health, rose 6.4 percent

``For the first time in our history, we generated over $2 billion in net income in a non-holiday quarter,'' Wal-Mart chief executive Lee Scott said.

Sales in the company's discount store division, which includes its Supercenters and grocery stores, were up 14.1 percent for the period, posting $38.64 billion in sales. Sam's Clubs warehouse stores saw growth of 9.2 percent for the quarter on sales of $7.93 billion, and Wal-Mart's international division sales were up 15.9 percent on sales of $9.69 billion.

McLane Co., Wal-Mart's distribution company based in Temple, Texas, had sales of $3.42 billion, up 3.8 percent.

As of July 31, the company had 1,611 Wal-Mart stores, 1,156 Supercenters, 512 Sam's Clubs and 34 Neighborhood Market grocery stores in the United States. The company has 1,205 international stores, plus a 6.1 percent interest in Seiyu Ltd. in Japan, which has more than 400 stores in that nation. Wal-Mart has an option to buy up to 66.7 percent of Seiyu.

Wal-Mart employs more than 1.3 million people domestically and internationally.