Walmart tops expectations in strong first-quarter earnings
Retail giant Walmart reported robust revenue and operating income growth in its first-quarter earnings on Thursday, topping market expectations.
The big-box discount retailer achieved consolidated revenue of $152.3bn for the period, reflecting a 7.6% year-on-year increase, and beating FactSet’s consensus forecast for $148.94bn.
On a constant currency basis, revenue growth stood at 7.7%.
Net income for the three months ended 30 April fell to $1.67bn, or 62 cents per share, from $2.05bn and 74 cents per share a year earlier.
Adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.47 when excluding non-recurring items, however, which was well above the $1.32 analysts had pencilled in.
Walmart recorded a significant rise in operating income of $0.9bn, or 17.3%, accompanied by a 34-basis point expansion in operating margin.
The consolidated gross margin rate declined by 18-basis points, however, which the firm put down to changes in the sales mix.
Walmart still managed to reduce consolidated operating expenses as a percentage of net sales by 58-basis points, however, further contributing to its operating income growth.
Looking at same-store sales, Walmart US saw growth of 7.4% and its Sam’s Club membership warehouse chain expanded 7%, which were both above consensus expectations for 5.2% and 6.1%, respectively.
“We had a strong quarter - comparative sales were strong globally, with e-commerce up 26%,” said president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon.
“We leveraged expenses, expanded operating margin, and grew profit ahead of sales.
“And a big thank you to our associates, who continue to step up and deliver for customers and members whenever and however they want to be served.”
At 0740 EDT (1240 BST), shares in Walmart were up 1.58% in pre-market trading in New York, at $151.90.
Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.