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Wal-Mart reports low outlook, Target misses forecast

Published:  23 July, 2008

US: Wal-Mart Stores Inc yesterday reported September sales at US stores opened at least a year, toward the low end of its outlook.

Although Wal-Mart's U.S. same-store sales outpaced Target's in September, the trend should reverse in October.

Wal-Mart forecast that October US same-store sales would be flat to up 2%, while Target expects a rise of 3% to 5%.

But Wal-Mart raised its third-quarter earnings view, citing improved margins and lower costs in the first two months of the period, which began in early August.

A Wal-Mart spokesman said the retailer had been able to reduce expenses in part through programs it has already announced, like its new system that schedules hourly employees based on the number of shoppers in a store.