Walmart soars as e-commerce growth drives earnings beat and raises 2020 outlook

  • Shares of Walmart climbed 6.5% on Thursday after the retailer posted second-quarter revenue and earnings per share that beat Wall Street estimates.
  • The company’s investments in e-commerce, particularly grocery delivery, paid off during the quarter as the segment’s sales grew 37%.
  • Following the strong quarter, Walmart raised its 2020 outlook for US comp sales and earnings per share.
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Walmart’s stock jumped 6.5% on Thursday after the retailer reported second-quarter results that topped Wall Street forecasts.

Here are the key numbers from Walmart’s results:

  • Revenue: $US130.4 billion, compared to $US130.07 billion expected by analysts
  • Earnings per share: $US1.27, versus $US1.22 expected by analysts
  • Net income: $US3.64 billion, compared to $US3.51 billion estimated by analysts

Walmart’s e-commerce sales rose 37% during the quarter, boosted by strong growth in its grocery delivery business. The company has made a major push into online sales in recent years in an attempt to compete with Amazon by launching a competing service to Amazon Prime and rolling out its own next-day delivery program.

As part of its e-commerce push, the retailer grew its grocery delivery locations to more than 1,100 in the second quarter, while also increasing its grocery pickup locations to more than 2,700. Walmart’s NextDay delivery program also now has the ability to reach about 75% of the US population, the company said in its earnings release.

“Customers are responding to the improvements we’re making, the productivity loop is working, and we’re gaining market share,” CEO Doug McMillion said in a statement. “We’re on track to exceed our original earnings expectations for the year.”

US comparable-store sales, which includes Walmart locations open for at least 12 months, grew by 2.8% in the second quarter.

Following Walmart’s strong performance, the company is raising its outlook for 2020. It now expects earnings per share to fall between “a slight decrease and slight increase,” up from the company’s prior expectation of a low-single digit decline. Walmart also expects same-store sales to hit the higher end of its predicted range of 2% to 3% growth.

Walmart was up 21.6% year-to-date through Wednesday close.

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