BENTONVILLE, ARK. — Boosted by strong sales results in the fourth quarter, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. posted a 5% increase in net income for the full-year ended Jan. 31.

For the year, Wal-Mart had a net income of $13,400 million, equal to $3.40 per share on the common stock, which compared with $12,731 million, or $3.13 per share, during the previous year.

Sales for the year were $401,244 million, up 7% from $374,307 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

"Our performance relative to competitors was exceptionally strong in the fourth quarter and throughout the year," said Mike Duke, president and chief executive officer. "We expect this momentum to continue. We finished the year with a strong balance sheet, record free cash flow of $11.6 billion and great inventory management. Our company created approximately 63,000 jobs worldwide this year, including 33,000 in the United States. In addition, Wal-Mart remains well-positioned to continue to serve our customers in a challenging environment because of its strong price leadership."

For the fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, the company had net income of $3,792 million, or 97c per share, down 7% from $4,096 million, or $1.03 per share, during the same quarter of the previous year. Sales for the quarter were $107,996 million, up 2% from $106,208 million during the same quarter of the previous year.

Looking ahead, the company expects earnings per share for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 to be between 72c and 77c, and for the full-year the company anticipates an e.p.s. between $3.45 and $3.60.

"Our guidance reflects the strength of our underlying business and global economic conditions," said Tom Schoewe, executive vice-president and chief financial officer. "It assumes that currency exchange rates will remain relatively the same as they were at the end of our 2009 fiscal year, which would have a negative impact on our year-over-year comparison of fiscal 2010 e.p.s. of approximately 13c per share."