Walmart Stores (WMT) is flexing its muscles a bit.
Before Thursday's market open, the world's largest retailer reported first-quarter earnings of $1 a share on revenue of $118.8 billion. Wall Street expected earnings of 96 cents a share on sales of $117.8 billion.
The company's U.S. same-store sales rose 1.4%, held back by consumers delaying spending due to late tax refunds.
Shares gained 2.6% to $76.81 in early Thursday trading and they deserve to be, TheStreet's Jim Cramer, manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, said on CNBC's "Mad Dash" segment. After all, the company beat earnings, revenue and same-store sales estimates.
There's no denying the struggles in the retail sector, particularly given the rise of e-commerce. However, Walmart is different. The company is in better position to fight back than its bricks-and-mortar peers because it has an excellent strategy, a balance sheet to envy and long-term shareholders. The Walton family owns roughly 50% of the stock.
Walmart seems to be the only retailer not being completely disrupted by the shift of people buying more items online, as its peers including J.C. Penney (JCP) , Macy's (M) and Kohl's (KSS) posted massive declines for the first quarters. Walmart has been helped by efforts to lower prices in groceries, which has brought people to the stores. Traffic to Walmart's U.S. stores rose 1.5% in the quarter, for example.