Walmart Delivers Another Earnings Beat, Forecasts Strong Holiday Sales

Walmart Inc. has posted another quarter of better-than-expected earnings.

The big-box retailer logged adjusted third-quarter earnings per share of $1.16, compared with analysts’ bets of $1.09. Profits for the period ended Oct. 31 came in at $3.29 billion, a more than 90% rise from the previous year’s $1.71 billion.

Although revenues, which climbed 2.5% to $127.99 billion, were lower than forecasts of $128.65 billion, Walmart’s results marked the 21st consecutive quarter of growth in the United States — a boon amid shifting consumer demands, a trade war-induced economic slowdown and ongoing challenges for other traditional retailers.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based chain’s domestic same-store sales jumped 3.2% while e-commerce sales surged 41%, fueled by its grocery business.

The performance led Walmart to raise its annual earnings outlook for the second time this year ahead of the crucial holiday shopping season. For the full year, Walmart now expects adjusted earnings per share to “increase slightly” in the high single digits, excluding Flipkart. It previously called for earnings to range between a slight decrease to a slight increase.

“Looking ahead, we’re prepared for a good holiday season,” CEO Doug McMillon shared in a statement. “Our integrated offering with stores and e-commerce delivers value and convenience for our customers. Our associates are working hard to ensure we succeed — one customer, one interaction at a time.”

The positive numbers come during a period of transition in Walmart’s online business in the U.S. The company recently sold the women’s apparel company ModCloth, and it announced this summer its decision to fold into its own online business the retail, technology, marketing, analytics and product teams of Jet.com, which Walmart acquired in 2016 for $3.3 billion. Separately, the company made one of its boldest moves this year through sweeping gun policy changes in response to August’s shootings at two of its stores. Walmart’s exit from the handgun business in the U.S. reduced its market share of ammunition from around 20% to roughly 6% to 9%.

The earnings report also marks a solid start for John Furner as the new president and CEO of Walmart’s U.S. division. In mid-October, the company revealed that Greg Foran, who served in the post for five years, had stepped down to accept the role of CEO at Air New Zealand Limited. Furner took the helm on Nov. 1, while Foran will stay on through Jan. 31 to ensure a smooth transition.

As of 11:00 a.m. ET, shares for the retailer were up 1.2% to $122.42.

Want more?

Walmart and Alibaba Earnings Are Retail’s Glimmer of Hope After Stock Market Slump

Access exclusive content