Walmart sales beat forecasts but profits drop by a third

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Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT)’s second-quarter sales came in ahead of market forecasts on Tuesday, however, the corporation saw income fall by a third amid shrinking margins and rising costs.


The world’s biggest retailer posted revenues of US$138.6bn for the quarter, 0.6% growth year-on-year and above analysts predictions of around US$136.9bn.


However, consolidated net income tumbled to US$4.27bn from US$6.48bn a year ago, while the growth of its online operation slowed drastically to 6% from 37% in the first quarter of 2021.


Despite the fall in incomes, Walmart’s president and chief executive Doug McMillon said the firm had delivered a “strong quarter”, highlighting that the group’s ecommerce sales are now on track to hit US$75bn by the end of the year and that during the quarter the group had grown its market share in the US.


The firm’s online operation has benefitted from a surge in online ordering during the pandemic, while sales at its bricks and mortar operation have been boosted by American consumers returning to stores as lockdown restrictions are eased.


Walmart also upped its guidance for the rest of the year saying it expects same-store sales for its 2022 fiscal year to rise by 5-6% compared to previous expectations of low single-digit growth. The firm also said its third-quarter sales will be ahead of estimates.


“We grew market share in US grocery, added thousands of new sellers to our marketplace, rapidly grew advertising businesses around the world, and we’re finding innovative ways to commercialize our data and build technology. We have a unique ecosystem of products and services designed to serve customers in broader, deeper ways, and we’re grateful to our associates for making it all happen”, McMillon said.


Walmart’s solid results are likely to raise expectations for other major US retailers such as Target Corp and Macy’s Inc, which will report quarterly earnings on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.


Shares in Walmart rose 0.3% to US$151.20 in mid-morning trading on Wall Street on Tuesday.

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