Wal-Mart Stores Inc said on Tuesday that sales at its U.S. discount stores open at least a year rose a better-than-expected 1.3 percent during the third quarter, ending a string of nine consecutive quarterly declines.

The world's largest retailer earned 97 cents per share from continuing operations. It had forecast a profit of 95 cents to $1.00 per share.

Wal-Mart had said that same-store sales at the Walmart chain in the United States, excluding fuel, would be down 1 percent to up 1 percent. Analysts on average expected a rise of 0.3 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl in Chicago; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)