Price refocus has Wal-Mart buzzing

Wal-Mart executives said Friday that a reinvigorated focus on price has allowed the world's largest retailer to beat competitors in a challenging economic environment.

“We're winning in the marketplace. You should feel very proud,” Eduardo Castro-Wright, president and chief executive of the U.S. division told cheering stockholders packed into the Bud Walton Arena at the University of Arkansas for the company's annual shareholder meeting.

Looking at the 20 percent boost to stock since last year, shareholders have much to cheer about.

Shares are trading close to the top of the company's 52-week range.

Wal-Mart did not change its outlook on the year as analysts expected, and shares fell 2.4 percent to $58.37 Friday.

On Thursday, the retailer posted a 3.9 percent gain in same-store sales for May.

The increase followed the company's 7 percent gain in profits for the first quarter.

Chief Financial Officer Tom Schoewe told shareholders the company has reduced capital spending, boosting cash flow and returns.

Wal-Mart, which generated $374.53 billion in sales last year, reported a 5.8 percent increase in profits.