Walmart Reports Strong First-Quarter Sales, Raises Full-Year Forecast
Walmart Earnings Highlights
- Walmart raises full-year sales forecast by 3.5%.
- Strong Q1 sales driven by the grocery business.
- Slower spending observed in the later part of the quarter.
Walmart Raises Full-Year Forecast
Walmart, the retail giant, announced on Thursday that it has raised its full-year forecast after experiencing a nearly 8% increase in fiscal first-quarter sales. The company’s large grocery business played a significant role in offsetting weaker sales of clothing and electronics.
Walmart Forecasts 3.5% Sales Growth
Walmart now expects consolidated net sales to rise approximately 3.5% for the fiscal year. Additionally, it anticipates adjusted earnings per share for the full year to be between $6.10 and $6.20, according to Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey.
Despite consumers trading down to smaller pack sizes and buying fewer discretionary items, Rainey emphasized that shoppers are still spending. However, they are more inclined to wait for promotions before making pricey purchases such as televisions.
Walmart Beats Expectations
For the three-month period ending on April 30, Walmart reported better-than-expected results. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.47 compared to the expected $1.32, while revenue reached $152.30 billion, surpassing the expected $148.76 billion.
Although net income for the big-box retailer decreased to $1.67 billion, or 62 cents per share, compared to $2.05 billion, or 74 cents per share, in the previous year, total revenue rose to $152.30 billion from $141.57 billion in the same period, exceeding Wall Street’s expectations.
Walmart U.S. Sees Strong Sales Growth
Walmart U.S. experienced a 7.4% increase in same-store sales, excluding fuel. Additionally, its e-commerce sales surged by 27% year over year. Both figures indicate strong performance for the company’s key industry metrics.
Rainey acknowledged that spending slowed down as the quarter progressed, attributing it in part to the conclusion of pandemic-related emergency funding from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and a decline in tax refund amounts.
Walmart’s Stock Lags Behind Market
Despite the positive sales growth, Walmart’s stock performance has lagged behind the S&P 500 and XRT indices, with shares increasing by only 6% year to date, compared to roughly 8% and nearly 2% gains, respectively.
As of Wednesday’s closing, Walmart’s stock price stood at $149.53, resulting in a market value of $403.33 billion.