Wal-Mart posts in-line quarter

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) today posted results that under normal circumstances would be considered mediocre but are extraordinary given the current state of the economy.

Net income was $3.03 billion, or 77 cents per share, little changed from a year earlier. Sales for the first quarter were $93.471 billion, down 0.6 percent from $94.042 billion in the first quarter last year. The profit was at the high end of Wal-Mart's guidance of 72 cents to 77 cents. Currency exchange rates lopped off about four cents from earnings and sales would have jumped 4.5 percent on a constant currency basis.