Strong U.S. economy boosts Walmart's third-quarter sales

17 Novembre, 2018, 04:44 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Walmart raises annual earnings estimate on higher quarterly revenue

Walmart Inc. sailed into the United States holiday season with stronger-than-expected sales and a boosted full-year outlook, signalling that the world's largest retailer can more than hold its own against rival Amazon.com Inc.in the critical holiday weeks ahead.

The catch is that Walmart is still way behind Amazon on the e-commerce front.

"Fresh (food) continues to do very well but there is strength across the board from a category standpoint", Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs told Reuters in an interview. Walmart is expected to grab 4 percent of US e-commerce sales, or about $20.9 billion, up from 3.3 percent a year ago, eMarketer said.

"Overall, we're encouraged by the momentum in our business and excited to be in a strong position to invest for the future as prior investments pay back", McMillon said in a statement. McMillon said Walmart can offer fresh food within 10 miles of 90 percent of the USA population. Comparable sales for Walmart stores in the US-the best barometer of the company's performance-rose 3.4% in the third quarter, beating analysts' estimates.

The company has expanded its grocery pickup program, which allows customers to order online and pickup at 2,100 of its US stores.

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

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eMarketer also noted that Walmart's e-commerce growth is 39.4 percent just behind Wayfair's 40.1 percent clip.

The company's e-commerce business is expected to post a slightly greater operating loss next year, the retailer said during investor day.

India is a promising market for Walmart, but Amazon is also spending billions to reach the millions of smartphone-toting Indian consumers.

Walmart paid $16 billion for a roughly 77-percent stake in Flipkart in May, its biggest acquisition and a major move in competing against Amazon.

As Christmas approaches, the retailer boosted its full-year adjusted earnings per share outlook to $4.75 to $4.85 from $4.65 to $4.80 earlier.

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