Walmart raises annual earnings estimate on higher quarterly revenue

Cornelia Mascio
Novembre 17, 2018

Walmart Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly US comparable sales on Thursday and raised its full year outlook as a strong economy boosted customer store visits and e-commerce purchases grew as it sold more groceries online.

As its food business goes, so goes Walmart.

Strong consumer spending has helped many brick-and-mortar retailers post solid sales gains this quarter, ahead of the key USA holiday season even as e-commerce investments have gnawed away profits. Shares were down 1.04 percent at $100.47 per share as investors were spooked by poor performance from J.C. Penney and Dillard's Inc, turning bearish on retail stocks, analysts said.

eMarketer said it recently increased its forecast for Walmart, which also owns and a bevy of other e-commerce properties.

Grocery sales make up 56 percent of Walmart's revenue, and at its investor day last month Walmart's Chief Executive Doug McMillon emphasized Walmart's advantage in the food category, an area that rival Inc is trying to crack, particularly following its acquisition a year ago of organic grocer Whole Foods. According to eMarketer Walmart is expected to capture 4 percent of all online retail spending in the USA, or $20.91 billion.

Total revenue jumped 2.4 percent in the third quarter to $124.9 billion, while the key metric of comparable store sales rose 3.4 percent, the company said.

In Walmart U.S. eCommerce, we continue to focus on improving the Customer Value Index.

Walmart has recorded over four straight years of US growth, unmatched by any other retailer.

In prepared remarks, executives said e-commerce sales were up 43 percent in the quarter. Apple's e-commerce growth has been hit by smartphone saturation, but its share ticks up slightly.

Adjusted earnings came to $1.08 per share, above expectations of $1.01. It now sees the measure growing at least 3% this year, better than the previous guidance of "about 3%".

And the company raised its estimate of fiscal year 2019 EPS by 10 cents to $4.75 to $4.85, just a few weeks after lowering the estimate following the acquisition of India's online retailer Flipkart.

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