Walmart Inc. (WMT) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Thursday, and boosted its full-year profit guidance as e-commerce and grocery sales at the world's biggest retailer continue to surge.
Walmart said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in October came in at $1.16 per share, up 7.4% from the same period last year and firmly ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.09 per share. Group revenues, Walmart said, rose 2.5% from last year to $127.991 billion, but came just shy of analysts' estimates of a $128.636 billion tally.
U.S. same-store sales rose 3.2%, Walmart said, topping Street forecasts and notching the fifth consecutive year of comparable store gains. E-Commerce sales, the group said, rose 41%, well ahead of the 35% gain expected by analyst that follow the company. Walmart also said fiscal 2020 earnings would likely increase "slightly" from the previous year, an upgrade from its prior forecast of either a modest gain or a modest decline.
"We're pleased with our performance for the quarter. Our associates are responding to change in an inspiring way, and we're proud of them," said CEO Doug McMillon. "The Walmart U.S. business saw strong comp sales and expense leverage, and operating income grew for the sixth consecutive quarter."
"We also celebrated the first anniversary of Flipkart and PhonePe as part of the Walmart family. It was great to see record sales in India during The Big Billion Days event," he added. "Looking ahead, we're prepared for a good holiday season. Our integrated offering with stores and eCommerce delivers value and convenience for our customers. Our associates are working hard to ensure we succeed -- one customer, one interaction at a time."
Walmart shares were marked 2.15% higher in the opening minutes of trading following the earnings release to change hands at $123.38, an all-time high and a move that extends the stock's year-to-date gain to around 33.5%.