Walmart Inc. (WMT) posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Wednesday and repeated its view that this month's acquisition of India's Flipkart would hit its bottom line this year.
Walmart said adjusted earnings for the three months ending in April came in at $1.14 per share, 2 cents ahead of the consensus forecast. Group revenues were tabbed at $121.63 billion, up 4.4% from the same period last year and again topping the Street forecast of $120.5 billion. Walmart said e-commerce sales were up 33%
"We delivered a solid first quarter, and we're encouraged by the continued momentum across the business. We're transforming to better serve customers," said CEO Doug McMilon. "We are changing from within to be faster and more digital, while shaping our portfolio of businesses for the future. Our strong cash flow and balance sheet provide flexibility to do so."
"I want to thank our associates and our leadership team for the choices they're making, their strong sense of urgency and the actions they're taking," he added. "Our people make the difference, and I'm proud to work with them."
Walmart shares closed at $86.13 each in New York Wednesday after rising 1.94% on the session, a move which trimmed the stock's year-to-date decline to 12.8%. Shares were indicated around 1.7% higher, at $87.59, immediately following the earnings release.
Walmart confirmed its biggest-ever acquisition last week when it unveiled details of a $16 billion deal with India's Flipkart that vaults the world's biggest retailer into the world's second-biggest country by population and edges out reported interest from rival Amazon Inc. (AMZN) .
Walmart will take a 77% stake in Flipkart, a fast-growing e-commerce group that dominates online retail in India,for its $16 billion investment, and said it will support the group's move to become "a publicly listed, majority-owned subsidiary in the future."
The acquisition, however, will hit full-year EPS by between 25 cents and 30 cents a share, Walmart said, if the deal is closed by the end of the current quarter.
In the U.S., Walmart said comparable sales rose 2.1%, excluding fuel, while Sam's Club comparable sales, again stripping out fuel, rose 3.8%.
In total, Sam's Club contributed $13.622 billion to Walmart's $77.748 billion U.S. topline, compared to net sales for Walmart International of $30.26 billion.