Wal-Mart reports record earnings and sales for the quarter that ended January 31st. Wal-Mart`s chief officers said this morning that brisk sales in January saved the world`s largest retailer from sluggish activity before Christmas. They also said the late surge bodes well for increases in the current quarter and year. Wal-Mart reported net sales of 74.5 billion dollars for the latest three-month period -- an increase of 12.2 percent over the same time last year. The Bentonville company earned 63 cents a share, as compared with 57 cents a year ago. Earnings met Wall Street expectations, and all segments experienced higher profits over the quarter than in the same quarter last year. President and CEO Lee Scott said hard work from employees helped Wal-Mart have a successful end to a difficult year.