Wal-Mart's fourth-quarter profit rises 13 percent

Tuesday, February 21st 2006, 9:55 am
By: News On 6

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) _ Wal-Mart's profits are up, but not as much as Wall Street analysts would like.

The Bentonville-based firm, the largest retailer in the world, said Tuesday morning that its fourth-quarter earnings rose 13.4 percent.

Aggressive holiday advertising helped boost sales and Wal-Mart reported profits rose to $3.6-billion in the fourth quarter.

But Wal-Mart shares declined because the fourth-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street projections, and also because the company forecast a profit outlook that is below Wall Street projections.

However, Wal-Mart said it was optimistic about the current fiscal year because of efforts it launched last year to offer trendier products in competition with smaller rival Target Corporation.

Wal-Mart hopes new merchandise and a revamped store interior will get people who are already in its stores for basics to spend more money on other products.

As part of the strategy, Wal-Mart has previously announced it will remodel many of US stores in the next 18 months to give them a more open, inviting look.