Why Everyone Is Saying Walmart Is Back

Walmart is in it to win it.

The megaretailer — and largest private employer in the U.S. — today posted its best sales in more than decade as it wades through digital disruption with a seemingly rock-solid strategy.

For the second quarter, ended July 27, Walmart (U.S.) saw its comp sales climb 4.5 percent, bolstered by its grocery, apparel and seasonal offerings. Strong comp sales were also supported by traffic and ticket growth, which each exceeded 2 percent, the company noted.

“Thanks to the hard work of our associates, we had a great quarter with strong results and momentum across the business,” said president and CEO Doug McMillon. “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. We’re continuing to aggressively roll out grocery pickup and delivery in the U.S., and we recently announced expanded omnichannel initiatives in China and Mexico.”

The firm has moved aggressively in recent months to combat heavy digital competition from Amazon — which made its big grocery store play when it acquired Whole Foods last year — by acquiring Jet.com and online fashion players ShoeBuy.com (now Shoes.com), ModCloth and Moosejaw. It has also tightened up its omnichannel strategy by leveraging its stores for online order fulfillment and rolling out more experiential offers.

Overall, total Q2 revenues were $128 billion, an increase of 3.8 percent and $2 billion higher than what analysts had expected. Sales for Walmart’s U.S. arm were up 5 percent to $82 billion.

Stemming mostly from the sale of its majority interest in Walmart Brazil, the firm posted a net loss 29 cents per share. However, on an adjusted basis, net earnings were $1.29 per share and 7 cents higher than analysts’ expectations.

On the heels of the blockbuster quarter, the firm improved its forecast for the fiscal year. Walmart now expects reported earnings per share in the range of $2.90 to $3.05. On an adjusted basis, it expects EPS in the range of to $4.90 to $5.05.

Investors have been cheering the results — sending the shares surging in early-morning trading.

As of 11:30 a.m. ET, the stock remained up nearly 10 percent to $98.88.

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