Wal-Mart, the giant discount chain and unofficial barometer of consumer spending, posted flat year-over-year earnings in its most recent quarter — an accomplishment in this economy.
Most retailers — even discount stores, which have been faring relatively well — are not expected to report year-over-year sales growth in the first months of their fiscal year.
Several chains, including Bon-Ton, Saks, Sears and Dillard’s, are not even expected to make a profit, according to Retail Metrics, a research firm.
For the three months ended April 30, Wal-Mart, the country’s largest retailer, had a profit of $3.02 billion, or 77 cents a share, compared with $3.02 billion, or 76 cents a share, for the period a year ago. In earlier reports, Wal-Mart had warned that results would be hurt by currency exchange rates. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/business/15shop.html?ref=business
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