Wal-Mart earnings beat, same-store sales up

Cramer: Wal-Mart CEO 'budding start'
Cramer: Wal-Mart CEO 'budding start'   

Wal-Mart Stores posted earnings that topped Wall Street expectations Thursday and said same-store sales in the U.S. were up.

Although revenue fell short, shares were higher in premarket trading. (Click here to track its share price.)

The retail giant reported a profit of $1.15 a share on sales of $118.01 billion. Wall Street had expected the company to post earnings of $1.12 per share on revenue of $118.32 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The company also projected a full-year earnings range of $4.92 to $5.02 a share. Analysts expected the company to earn $4.99 a share.

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"We had several merchandise categories driving top-line growth," said CEO Greg Foran. "I'm encouraged by our performance during key seasonal events. We had strong back-to-school results in apparel, home and school supplies, and we ended the quarter well by executing a strong Halloween event."

Customers check out at a Wal-Mart store.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Customers check out at a Wal-Mart store.

Overall U.S. same-store sales rose 0.5 percent, ending a six-quarter streak of flat or declining same-store sales in the region and topping expectations for a gain of 0.1 percent. The retailer has struggled as many of its consumers have felt pinched economically.

Earlier this week, the company said it will once again kick off its Black Friday deals starting at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, in line with competitors such as Target and Sears.

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The company said it expects a "highly promotional holiday season."

Dana Telsey, CEO of Telsey Advisory Group, said she likes Wal-Mart stock in a year when deep discounting will put pressure on retailers to manage their margins and inventories.

"Wal-Mart certainly will be a good bet given that they are the biggest in terms of being able to get the best margin at the lowest price," Telsey said Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box".

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She added that dollar stores and off-price retailers will have to be sharp as can be to compete with Wal-Mart during the Thanksgiving holidays.

"Black Friday is no longer about waking up at the crack of dawn to stand in long lines," said Duncan Mac Naughton, chief merchandising officer at Walmart U.S. "It's become a family shopping tradition where everyone shops at some point throughout the weekend."