Wal-Mart posts strong profit as U.S. sales jump


May 17 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as its Walmart U.S. division showed a 2.6 percent rise in sales at stores open at least a year, as warm weather and an earlier Easter enticed shoppers to spend.

The world's largest retailer, which was recently rocked by allegations of bribery in Mexico, earned $1.09 per share from continuing operations, compared with a profit of 98 cents a year earlier. Wal-Mart had forecast earnings per share of $1.01 to $1.06.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

((jessica.wohl@thomsonreuters.com)(312)(408-8132)(Reuters Messaging: jessica.wohl.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: WALMART/