Wal-Mart: Sales Rose in March

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) said on Saturday that March sales at U.S. stores open at least one year rose an estimated 4.2 percent, or slightly above the 4.1 percent increase recorded in February.

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, said food sales were stronger than general merchandise and the Southeast was the strongest performing region in the most recent week ended Friday.

Average ticket, or the amount purchased per shopping trip, drove comparable-stores sales for the week, Wal-Mart said in a recorded message.

Sell-throughs for Easter-specific items were similar to last year, but due to unseasonable weather sales for spring, seasonal items were below plan, Wal-Mart said.

Wal-Mart previously said it expected March U.S. same-store sales (search) to be similar to or better than the 4.1 percent rise posted in February. The retailer's five-week March sales reporting period ended Friday.