People talk outside a Wal-Mart pickup grocery store in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Rick Wilking | Reuters
WalmartFirst quarter earnings surged above Wall Street estimates on Tuesday as the company saw strong grocery sales and e-commerce growth, and raised its outlook for the year.
Shares rose more than 2% in pre-market trading early Tuesday.
The big box retailer said more shoppers have gone to its stores and website to do stimulus checks and prepare to reconnect if Covid-19 cases drop and vaccination rates go up.
In particular, US ecommerce sales increased 37% even as consumers returned to more normal activities.
Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart, said the company anticipates “pent-up demand” in 2021.
The company has raised its outlook for the fiscal year. Walmart USA’s earnings per share and operating income are expected to grow in the high single digits. It reiterated its forecast that Walmart USA and Sam’s Club sales in the same business will grow in the low single digits excluding fuel and tobacco.
“Our optimism is higher than at the beginning of the year,” he said in a press release. “In the US, customers clearly want to get out and shop.”
Based on consensus refinitive estimates, for the fiscal first quarter ended April 30th, the company reported the following:
- Earnings per share: $ 1.69 adjusted versus $ 1.21 expected
- Revenue: $ 138.31 billion versus $ 131.97 billion expected
Walmart reported that net income for the quarter rose from $ 3.99 billion, or $ 1.40 per share last year, to $ 2.73 billion, or 97 cents per share. Excluding items, the company made $ 1.69 per share. According to Refinitiv, analysts had expected Walmart to make $ 1.21 per share.
Total revenue increased nearly 3% to $ 138.31 billion from $ 134.62 billion last year, and exceeded that figure Wall Street’s expectations of $ 131.97 billion.
According to a StreetAccount survey, Walmart’s sales in the same store in the US rose 6%, above the 0.9% increase expected by analysts. The company said those grocery sales got a boost as it gained market share.
Sales at Walmart subsidiary Sam’s Club in the same store rose 7.2% excluding fuel – more than the 1.2% growth forecast by analysts.
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