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Wal-Mart earnings miss Wall Street forecast

NEW YORK Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting its annual profit outlook as the world's largest retailer continues to deal with a tough economy at home and abroad.

Wal-Mart reported also second-quarter results on Thursday that missed Wall Street estimates. The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer says second-quarter profit rose 1.3 percent to $4.07 billion, or $1.24 per share, for the three months ended July 31. That compares with $4.02 billion, or $1.18 per share, a year earlier. Net sales rose 2.4 percent to $116.2 billion.

Analysts were expecting earnings of $1.25 per share on revenue of $118.09 billion.

Revenue at stores open at least a year at Wal-Mart's namesake business fell 0.3 percent. That's considered an important measure of a retailer's performance.

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