Walmart Reports Better-Than-Expected Q1, Boosted by Online Sales

Walmart today reported first quarter earnings that beat analyst predictions — and the retail giant gave credit to its rebounding e-commerce business.

Following last quarter’s dismal numbers, Walmart posted solid online sales growth in the U.S., which rose 33 percent for the three months ended April 27. The report comes just a day after Walmart announced the rollout of its redesigned online shop to court high-income shoppers through its new partnership with luxury department store chain Lord & Taylor.

“We delivered a solid first quarter, and we’re encouraged by the continued momentum across the business,” president and CEO Doug McMillon said. “We’re transforming to better serve customers. We are changing from within to be faster and more digital while shaping our portfolio of businesses for the future.”

Walmart’s total revenue climbed 4.4 percent to $122.7 billion, while adjusted earnings per share were $1.14, above analyst estimates.(Total net income fell to $2.13 billion, or 72 cents per share, from $3.04 billion, or $1 per share for the same quarter last year.)

Same-store sales increased 2.1 percent, with membership-only chain Sam’s Club showing an increase of 3.8 percent for the period. Walmart International, on the other hand, continued to drive growth with eight of its 11 markets delivering positive comps.

Walmart is preparing for its $16 billion acquisition of India-based e-commerce behemoth Flipkart — its latest move in the battle against rival Amazon. The company said it expects the investment to negatively impact fiscal year 2019 earnings per share by about 25 cents to 30 cents if the transaction closes in the second quarter.

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