CHICAGO, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's largest retailer, reported its 13th consecutive rise in quarterly comparable sales on Thursday, driven by an increase in the number of shoppers who visited stores and online purchases.
Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 2.7 percent, excluding fuel, in the third quarter ended Oct. 31. Analysts forecast a gain of 1.7 percent, according to a poll by research firm Consesus Metrix. The retailer has recorded more than three straight years of growth, unmatched by any other retailer.
Adjusted earnings per share increased to $1, beating expectations of 97 cents per share.
Online sales soared 50 percent during the quarter, exceeding growth rates in the industry, but slower from the previous quarter's 60 percent rise. (Reporting by Nandita Bose in Chicago; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)