Wal-Mart's quarterly comparable sales beat estimates

Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Tuesday reported higher-than-expected U.S. comparable sales, driven by higher customer traffic to stores and accelerating online activity, and the world's largest retailer's shares rose more than 2 percent.

Wal-Mart said sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 1.8 percent, excluding fuel price fluctuations. Analysts on average were expecting an increase of 1.3 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.

Continue Reading Below

Net income attributable to Wal-Mart fell to $3.76 billion in the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31 from $4.57 billion a year earlier, reflecting the impact from discontinued real estate projects and severance.

Excluding items, earnings per share stood at $1.30. Analysts on average expected $1.29, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

U.S. store visits rose 1.4 percent, compared with a year-earlier increase of 0.7 percent.

Revenue rose 1 percent to $130.9 billion. Excluding currency fluctuations, it stood at $133.6 billion.

Online sales increased 29 percent, accelerating from the previous quarter. That business added 80 basis points to fourth-quarter comparable sales.

At Friday's close, Wal-Mart shares had risen 0.36 percent since the start of the year.

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Chicago Editing by W Simon and Lisa Von Ahn)