Walmart's online sales soar 63 percent in Q1


Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) e-commerce numbers increased dramatically over the same quarter past year, according to its earnings report released Thursday.

The chain's USA same-store sales grew for the 11th consecutive quarter, rising 1.4% in the period ended April 30, just beating analysts' estimates.

Earnings per share (EPS) breaks down the profitability of the company on a single share basis, and for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. the EPS stands at 1 for the previous quarter, while the analysts predicted the EPS of the stock to be 0.96, suggesting the stock exceeded the analysts' expectations.

President and CEO Doug McMillon said, "We delivered a solid first quarter and we're encouraged by the start to the year". We're moving faster to combine out digital and physical assets to make shopping simple and easy for customers.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was covered by a number of analysts recently, 5 rated the stock as Buy, 6 rated Outperform, 19 rated Hold, 2 gave an Underperform and 2 rated sell.

Commenting on the retail giant's performance, Greg Portell, a partner at consulting firm A.T. Kearney, said, "All of a sudden, Wal-Mart is the primary competitor to Amazon, as opposed to a fragmented cluster of people", as quoted by Bloomberg. The plan, said McMillon was gaining traction.

Meanwhile, the retailer's e-commerce sales rose a whopping 63% compared to a mere 29% growth last quarter. At least at this pace, Walmart could get to a fifth Amazon's size this year in US e-commerce, up from a sixth last year.

Benchmark U.S. crude oil futures rose 28 cents, or 0.6 percent, to close at $49.35 a barrel in NY. In the company's Q4, ecommerce accounted for 2.9 percent of its total revenue. The retailers shift in focus from opening new stores to expanding its e-commerce business has improved the company's sales greatly.

But the initiative has produced gains in comparable store sales in the United States, a closely-watched benchmark that rose 1.4 per cent in the first quarter.

The company would only say a "majority" of the sales growth happened organically. The overall volume in the last trading session was 8.23 million shares, versus the average volume of 10.29 million shares. From a marketplace perspective, the company covers more than 35 million SKUs to date.

THE QUOTE: "This is a relief rally following the volatility earlier in the week", said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management. (WMT) reported Thursday lower net profit in its first quarter with weak global segment results.

Net sales at Walmart International were $27.1 billion, a decrease of 3.5%.

Traders also welcomed data from the Labor Department showing that applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in almost three months.

Target on Wednesday reported first-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.21 per share, above the Street view of 91 cents per share.

Revenue was $117.54 billion, just shy of the $117.63 billion analysts had expected.

The growth was driven by a 1.5% increase in customer traffic, the company said. For its second quarter, Walmart said it expects earnings in the range of $1 to $1.08 a share.



Other news