Walmart crushes estimates with blowout holiday quarter

20 Février, 2019, 01:36 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Walmart Reports Earnings Tomorrow. Here’s What to Expect

Walmart's performance is encouraging after a dismal government report on December sales from USA retailers.

Walmart stock is up about 3.5 percent in early morning trading.

"To us, the consumer looks like they're in pretty good shape", Walmart CFO Brett Biggs said on Tuesday's earnings call. Walmart's US same-store sales increased 3.6%. This week, Payless ShoeSource began liquidation sales at roughly 2,500 stores in North America. He declined to provide a sales figure for toys but said general merchandise sales - which also include home decor, apparel and electronics - rose by a mid-single-digit per centage in the quarter. Comparable sales excluding fuel were up 3.6%.

In one of the chain's most closely watched metrics, Walmart's same-store sales in the USA jumped 4.2% in the quarter, beating Street estimates. That helped sales at stores open at least a year to rise 4.2 percent at its USA namesake stores, following a 3.4 percent pace in the fiscal third quarter.

"Walmart has committed record capex (capital expenditure)[ on e-commerce], and they are telling vendors and shoppers that Walmart.com is growing while Amazon is slowing down", Flickinger added. Walmart's USA online sales for the first nine months of its latest fiscal year totaled $10.2 billion.

The company, often seen as a rival to Amazon in the retail big leagues, now offers grocery pickup at more than 2,100 of its 4,755 United States stores and delivery at almost 800 locations. The discounter hasn't yet disclosed the year-end figures.

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"In the next two years, Walmart will become one of Amazon's worst nightmares", said Burt Flickinger, managing director of New York-based retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, on CNBC ahead of Tuesday's earnings release. "These are early days, but Walmart is now a serious contender in the online space and presents a much more serious threat to Amazon than it did 18 months ago".

Walmart reported net income for period ended January 31 of $3.69 billion, or $1.27 per share, compared with $2.18 billion, or 73 cents a share, a year ago. Earnings, removing one-time items, were $1.41 per share, which is 8 cents better than analysts had expected, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

Revenues were up 1.9 per cent at $138.8 billion.

The company's Sam's Club division had a 3.3 percent increase in revenue at stores opened at least a year during the fiscal fourth quarter.

For the full year, Walmart's total revenue rose 2.8% to $514.4 billion.

Walmart said it would maintain its sales outlook for 2019 (the company's fiscal year 2020), which it had trimmed in October last year, a sign that the retailer had looked past the market worries to aim for continuing growth.

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