Walmart beats on earnings as online sales surge

Walmart on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts’ expectations amid heavy investments to beef up its ecommerce unit and contain the threat from Amazon.

Adjusted earnings per share came in at $US1, America’s largest retailer said in a statement, beating analysts’ forecast for $US0.96 according to Bloomberg. Sales at stores open for at least one year rose by 1.4%, ahead of the forecast for 1.3%.

Gross merchandise volume in Walmart’s ecommerce unit — the value of everything that was sold through it — jumped by 69% compared to the prior year.

Walmart’s stock fell 1.5% in premarket trading. The company said it expects second-quarter EPS at between $US1 and $US1.08, excluding a $US0.05 benefit, which missed expectations.

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