Wal-Mart Stores Inc. shares rose 2% in premarket trade on Thursday after its third-quarter profit and sales topped Wall Street expectations and Walmart U.S. unit reported better-than-expected same-store sales. Third-quarter net income was $3.71 billion, or $1.15 a share, compared with $3.74 billion, or $1.14, a year earlier. That beat the $1.12 FactSet consensus estimate. Sales rose to $119 billion from $115.7 billion. That was slightly above the $118.4 billion analysts were looking for. Comparable sales at its largest unit Walmart US rose 0.5%. Wal-Mart sees fourth-quarter per-share profit of $1.46 to $1.56, including a 3-cent negative impact related to store closures in Japan. It said full-year per-share profit will now be $4.92 to $5.02 a share, compared with its prior guidance of $4.90 to $5.15 a share. The guidance also includes the 3-cent impact in Japan. Wal-Mart was expected to earn $1.57 a share in the fourth quarter and $4.99 for the year, according to FactSet. Shares were up 2% in premarket trade.
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