Wal-Mart profits disappoint

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores’ first-quarter profit fell 5.1% to $3.58 billion, or $1.11 a share, from $3.78 billion, or $1.14 a share, a year earlier, impacted by changes in currency rates. Consolidated net sales in the quarter inched up 0.8% to $114.2 billion. Including membership and other income, revenue also was up 0.8% to $115 billion. Analysts were expecting Wal-Mart to report profit of $1.15 a share on sales of $116.4 billion. In the U.S., net sales for the company’s namesake Walmart chain increased $1.3 billion, or 2.0%, while same-store sales dropped for the fifth straight quarter, down 0.08%.