Wal-Mart Stores says sales rose just 1% in domestic stores in its fiscal fourth quarter, but that its profits beat expectations. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer says it continued to win market share in food, consumables, health, wellness and over-the-counter drug categories. Companywide, net sales for the quarter grew 3.9% to $127.92 billion, below analysts’ forecasts. But earnings came in above expectations, at $5.61 billion, compared to $5.16 billion.
After rumors buzzed about looming “disastrous” results, the company says in its earning release that February “started slower than planned,” which it attributed to later-than-usual income tax refunds. As a result, it is now predicting flat same-store sales in the next quarter.