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Walmart beats on earnings and revenues as US e-commerce push pays off

Walmart beats on earnings and revenues as US e-commerce push pays off

Walmart on Thursday reported fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat expectations on the top and bottom lines, as its e-commerce business rebounded.

After a disappointing e-commerce performance last quarter, Walmart said U.S. online sales grew 33 percent. The rise implied its investment, namely in online grocery and its website design, is paying off.

Here’s how the company did compared with what Wall Street expected:

  • Earnings: $1.14 cents per share vs. $1.12 per share forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • Revenue: $122.69 billion vs. $120.51 billion forecast by Thomson Reuters
  • Same-store sales growth 2.1 percent vs. 2.0 percent forecast by Thomson Reuters

“Online grocery continued to accelerate and [we] had the new site redesign late in the quarter. We also have new brands in e-commerce including the partnership with Lord & Taylor, so there are a lot of different things driving growth there,” Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said in an interview with CNBC.

Walmart has been transforming its online grocery business and re-outfitting its stores to adjust for online delivery. It also recently redesigned its website and said Wednesday its new “store within a store” partnership with Lord & Taylor will be launching in phases in coming weeks.

Still, competition in online grocery continues to heat up. Whole Foods on Wednesday introduced its new exclusive discounts for Prime members. Kroger announced early Thursday a new exclusive online delivery deal with Ocado.

Walmart reported strong performance in its stores as well. U.S. same-store sales were up 2.1 percent beating estimates of 2 percent. Sam’s Club same-store sales were up 3.8 percent, driven by comparable traffic growth of 5.6 percent.

“Sam’s Club had one of its best quarters,” Biggs said. “Fresh food has been a strength.”

In the quarter ended April 30, Walmart said net income fell to $2.13 billion, or 72 cents per share, from $3.04 billion, or $1 per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, Walmart earned $1.14 per share, beating Thomson Reuters’ expectations of $1.12 a share.

Sales rose 4.4 percent to $122.69 billion, beating estimates of $120.51 billion.

Its premarket stock price rose 0.8 percent Thursday.

Walmart is in the midst of an international transformation, announcing two deals over the past month. Walmart reported net sales in its international business of $30.3 billion for the quarter, an increase of 11.7 percent.

It said in April that it plans to partially exit its stake in British grocer Asda by merging the business with peer J Sainsbury.

“We’ve made a number of announcements of strategic moves we believe will strengthen our position around the world, Q1 is a good example of why we are able to do that — we are in a great financial position and the underlying business was very strong,” Biggs said.

Earlier this month, it announced a $16 billion acquisition of Indian e-commerce giant Flipkart. The announcement sparked a sell-off of Walmart shares, likely a result of the big ticket price.

Walmart said it expects its Flipkart investment to reduce fiscal year 2019 earnings per share by about 25 cents to 30 cents, if the transaction closes at the end of the second quarter.

It also said Thursday it recently reached agreements to sell its banking operations in Walmart Canada and Walmart Chile.

In the latest quarter, the company recorded an unrealized loss of $1.8 billion from its investment in, due to the decline of the Chinese e-commerce company’s stock price during the period. As result of new accounting principles, Walmart must now report such unrealized gains and losses.

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