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Walmart tops earnings estimates, CEO pursues shift

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New York - Walmart Stores topped third-quarter profit estimates and increased the low end of its annual forecast, a sign the retailer is making progress reining in costs and revamping its stores.

Earnings were 99 cents a share in the period, excluding some items, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said in a statement on Tuesday.

Analysts had predicted 98c on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company now expects profit of $4.50 to $4.65 a share this year, up from a previous forecast of at least $4.40.

The outlook brought a dose of good news to investors after a dour profit forecast crushed the shares last month.

Walmart suffered its worst stock decline in more than 27 years on October 14 when it said earnings would decrease 6% to 12% next year. The strong dollar also has hurt the value of Walmart’s overseas sales, contributing to a 1.3% revenue decline last quarter.

The shares rose 3.2% to $59.70 at 14:03 in early trading on Tuesday. Walmart had lost 33% of its value this year through Monday’s close.

Overhauling stores

Walmart is fixing up its US stores after years of customer complaints about out-of-stock items, poor customer service and long waits at the checkout line.

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