Walmart’s earnings rise as e-commerce sales jump 40%

Chain Drug Review, News

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart on Thursday reported fiscal second quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts’ forecasts, as digital sales ticked higher and more shoppers visited its stores and spent more per visit.

Doug McMillon

Same-store sales in the United States increased 4.5%, the retailer’s strongest comp growth in more than a decade. Sales were particularly vigorous in the grocery and apparel departments. Digital sales were up 40% from a year earlier.

“We’re pleased with how customers are responding to the way we’re leveraging stores and e-commerce to make shopping faster and more convenient,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and chief executive officer. “We’re continuing to aggressively roll out grocery pickup and delivery in the United States, and we recently announced expanded omnichannel initiatives in China and Mexico. Customers have choices, and we’re making it easier than ever for them to choose Walmart.”

Walmart reported a net loss for the quarter of $861 million, or 29 cents a share, compared with net income of $2.9 billion, or 96 cents a share, a year earlier. The company cited ongoing investments, primarily in e-commerce, along with divestitures overseas and increased transportation costs as factors weighing on earnings.

Revenue climbed 3.8% to $128 billion, an increase of 3.8% from last year.

Sam’s Club had comparable-store sales growth of 5%, representing the unit’s strongest growth in same-store sales in six years.

Walmart International contributed $29.5 billion in sales, up 4%, with comps rising in each of the unit’s four largest markets.

Digital sales in the United States were aided by a redesign of the site and expansion of the company’s grocery delivery and pickup services. Pickup is now available in 1,800 U.S. locations, the company said, and it is on track to reach about 40% of the population by the end of the year.

Walmart said it expects e-commerce growth of 40% for the full year.

The company raised its sales and earnings outlook for the full year, excluding any impact from its acquisition of Indian e-commerce company Flipkart, which has yet to close.

Officials said they are keeping an eye on the potential impacts of disputes involving tariffs between the United States and its trading partners.

“While we know questions persist about tariffs, the potential future impact is difficult to quantify,” chief financial officer Brett Biggs said in a statement. “We are closely monitoring the tariff discussions and are actively working on mitigation strategies, particularly in light of potentially escalating duties.”

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