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Wal-Mart U.S. quarterly comparable sales slip

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(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Thursday reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, hurt by an unexpected decline in U.S. comparable sales and what the company called a competitive retail environment.

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The world's largest retailer said comparable sales at its U.S. stores, its biggest unit, fell 0.3 percent in the third quarter ended on October 31, hurt in part by a reduction in the number of visits to stores by customers. Wall Street was expecting those results to be unchanged.

Wal-Mart expects U.S. comparable sales, which include those online and at stores open at least a year, to be flat during the current holiday quarter.

"Some customers feel uncertainty about the economy, government, jobs stability," said Chief Executive Officer Mike Duke in a recording.

Overall revenue increased 1.6 percent to $115.69 billion, while Wall Street was expecting $116.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. International sales rose 4.1 percent to $34.4 billion, excluding any currency impact.

Third-quarter profit from continuing operations rose 2.8 percent to $3.73 billion, or $1.14 per share. That was 1 cent higher than analysts were expecting.

Shares of Wal-Mart were down 1.3 percent at $77.85 in trading before the market opened.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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