While Wall Street handed Walmart (WMT) a lump of coal on Thursday in response to third-quarter earnings, the world's largest retailer managed to score several big wins in front of the crucial holiday shopping season.
Walmart's stock fell about 3% in early trading Thursday as total sales rose 0.7% from the prior year to $118.2 billion, missing Wall Street forecasts for $118.8 billion. Sales were clipped by $2.1 billion due to the relative strength of the U.S. dollar since the summer months. Food price deflation didn't help the company, either.
Earnings came in at 98 cents a share, beating projections for 96 cents a share. Walmart lifted its full-year earnings outlook to $4.20 to $4.35 a share from previous guidance of $4.15 to $4.35 a share.
Here are several key things Wall Street may have overlooked in Walmart's earnings report that suggest the holiday season may turn out pretty festive for the Bentonville, AR. based discounter.
Walmart has more momentum headed into holidays than its archnemesis.
Amid investments in lower merchandise prices and higher wages for store workers, Walmart's U.S. sales are on the comeback trail. Walmart U.S. notched a same-store sales increase of 1.2%, the division's ninth straight gain. Meanwhile, Target's (TGT) third-quarter same-store sales fell for the second consecutive quarter, dropping 0.2%.
The momentum this year for Walmart is a sign its initiatives to draw in spendthrift U.S. shoppers are working, and may pay big dividends during the holiday season.