Retail behemoth Walmart (NYSE: WMT) reported third-quarter earnings that exceeded estimates and raised its full-year 2020 guidance, to reflect the steady momentum in the domestic market and e-commerce initiatives. Aided by a positive comparable store performance, revenues grew 2.5%. The stock rose sharply early Thursday, following the announcement.
Third-quarter adjusted earnings were $1.16 per share, up from $1.08 per share recorded last year and above the consensus forecast. Net profit, on an unadjusted basis, moved up to $3.29 billion or $1.15 per share from $1.71 billion or $0.58 per share in the year-ago period.
Comps Up 3.2%
There was a 3.2% increase in Walmart US comparable sales and a 41% jump in Walmart U.S. eCommerce sales. Comparable sales at Sam’s Club edged up 0.6% and eCommerce sales climbed 32%. The outcome was negatively impacted by reduced tobacco sales.
Consequently, total revenues advanced 2.5% annually to $128 billion, broadly matching Wall Street’s prediction.
“Looking ahead, we’re prepared for a good holiday season. Our integrated offering with stores and eCommerce delivers value and convenience for our customers. Our associates are working hard to ensure we succeed — one customer, one interaction at a time,” said CEO Doug McMillon.
For fiscal 2020, the management expects adjusted earnings per share to increase slightly, compared to last year, including Flipkart. Excluding Flipkart, full-year earnings are seen growing by a high single-digit percentage range. The outlook has been revised up from the estimate provided earlier. Currently, the effective tax rate is expected to range between 25% and 25.5%.
New Head for US
Walmart U.S. ended the third quarter with more than 3,000 grocery pickup locations and around 1,400 same-day grocery delivery locations. During the period, the company appointed John Furner as president and CEO of Walmart U.S.
Last month, arch-rival Amazon (AMZN) lost significant market value after the e-tail giant’s third-quarter earnings fell short of expectations as the bottom-line was dragged down by an increase in operating expenses. At $70 billion, revenues were up 24%.
Walmart shares have set new records consistently in recent months. Though the stock reversed the trend briefly a few months ago, it bounced back and returned to growth mode after the second-quarter report. The stock is up 26% since the beginning of the year.