Wal-Mart Stores Inc
Shares of Wal-Mart rose 1.1 percent to $53.26 as Bill Simon, president and chief executive of the U.S. stores, spoke at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference on Thursday afternoon. His comments were also broadcast over the Internet.
We like where we're going, Simon said.
Last month, Wal-Mart said sales at its U.S. discount chain should improve as the year progresses. For the current quarter, it expected sales at stores open at least a year, or same-store sales, at its U.S. discount stores to be down 2 percent to flat, following seven consecutive quarterly declines.
U.S. sales were hurt in part by a decision, since reversed, to pare down the number of items Wal-Mart offers. Now, under Simon, Wal-Mart is bringing back its so-called action alley displays that showcase goods in store aisles, and is expanding areas such as fishing supplies.
(Reporting by Jessica Wohl, editing by Dave Zimmerman and Gerald E. McCormick)