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Wal-Mart Makes Progress Amid Higher Costs, Increased Competition

  • Retailer says that 70% of its locations now pass muster
  • Third-quarter earnings top analysts' estimates, boosting stock
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Inside Wal-Mart's Earnings, Sales and Brazil Struggles

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Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s push to revamp its U.S. stores and beat back increased competition may be starting to show results, even as the cost of those plans weighs on earnings.

The retailer’s profit topped analysts’ estimates in the third quarter, lifted by gains in same-store sales and foot traffic. Wal-Mart also raised the low end of its annual profit forecast, helping boost the stock 3.5 percent.