Wal-Mart Q3 profit below estimates

The company said Tuesday in a statement that net income for the quarter ending Oct 31 declined 2.9 percent from a year earlier to $3.34 billion, or 97 cents per share, lower than projected 98 cents.

Net sales for the same stretch were $109.5 billion, an increase of 8.2 percent from last year, among which net sales from international market increased about 20 percent to $32.4 billion, reported Xinhua.

The stores are continuing a strategy of investing in low prices, said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart president and CEO.

Wal-Mart did not pass higher prices charged by suppliers to customers suffering persistent unemployment, said Bill Simon, Wal-Mart's US chief, adding that the gross profit margin was hurt and may continue to narrow in the fourth quarter.

The diluted earnings per share in the fourth quarter is expected between $1.42 and $1.48, and the whole year earnings per share may fall between $4.45 and $4.51, said the company statement.

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