Walmart Stores Inc. (WMT)  topped estimates again.

Before the market open on Thursday, Aug. 17, the big-box retailer reported second-quarter earnings of $1.08 a share, compared to earnings of $1.07 a share analysts surveyed at Factset expected. In the year-ago period, Walmart posted earnings of $1.07 a share.

Walmart's revenue rose 2.1% to $123.4 billion. Wall Street expected revenue of $122.8 billion.

The company's same-store sales popped 1.8% driven by its grocery segment, with a 1.3% growth in traffic, exactly in line with analysts' estimates. Still, shares of Walmart dropped 2.04% in late Thursday-morning trading as Wall Street likely expected a blowout quarter from a retailer that has gotten its act in order of late. By Friday morning, Walmart stock traded up 0.34% to $79.97.

For the full year, Walmart expects earnings in the range of $4.30 and $4.40 a share. Walmart previously estimated earnings of $4.20 to $4.40 a share. 

Walmart said its e-commerce growth "remained strong," generating a 60% increase in sales, in the quarter, driven by its $3.3 billion acquisition of e-commerce company Jet.com last August. One way Walmart has been boosting its e-commerce business is through a series of acquisitions of online retailers that began with the Jet deal, and includes its most-recent purchase of men's apparel retailer Bonobos.com.

"Our strategy is to make every day easier for busy families," Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. "To accomplish this, we continue our transformation to become more of a digital enterprise that moves with speed and agility. I'm encouraged by innovation in the business."

Marc Lore, Walmart president and CEO of e-commerce.
Marc Lore, Walmart president and CEO of e-commerce.

The retailer said by the end of the year, 100 Walmart stores will house its Pickup Tower, which TheStreet reported back in August is a 16-foot automated tower that can hold up to 300 small to mid-size packages. All customers have to do is walk up to it (its doors automatically open when it senses a person approach), use the screen to scan their mobile receipt's bar code and the tower disburses their online purchase.

Walmart's better-than-expected quarter comes after Target Corp. (TGT) released its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, which came out better than Wall Street expected as well. The rival retailer posted online sales growth of 32% and a same-store sales increase of 1.3%, helped by a surprise 2.1% boost in traffic as it lowered prices.

Target revealed on its earnings call that, after acquiring transportation tech company Grand Junction, it can now start testing same-day shipping in New York City and next-day shipping in Denver and Dallas.

All in all, score one for the discount retail space. Last week, department-store retailers including Macy's Inc. (M) , J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (JCP) and Kohl's Corp. (KSS) released a wave of disappointing earnings reports as the decline of bricks and mortar heightens.

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