Wal-Mart's 3Q profit up 9 percent

      By ANNE D'INNOCENZIOAP Retail Writer

      NEW YORK (AP) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reporting a 9 percent increase in third-quarter net income as the world's largest retailer continues to woo back shoppers by reemphasizing that it has the lowest prices.

      The company, based in Bentonville, Ark, says Thursday it earned $3.63 billion, or $1.08 per share, in the quarter ended Oct. 31. That compares with $3.33 billion, or 96 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

      Net sales, excluding Sam's Club membership fees, rose 3.4% to $113.2 million.

      Analysts were expecting $1.07 per share on revenue of $114 billion.

      Wal-Mart says its revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 1.5 percent, below Wall Street's estimate of 1.8 percent.

      Wal-Mart narrowed its full year earnings guidance and issued a fourth-quarter profit outlook that's below analysts' forecasts.

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