Economia

Wal-Mart's quarterly same-store sales beat estimates

Wal-Mart's quarterly same-store sales beat estimates

CHICAGO Wal-Mart Stores Inc on Thursday reported higher-than-expected quarterly sales at established USA stores, as more customers visited the discount retailer and its e-commerce push boosted online purchases, sending its shares up 1.3 percent in early trade. The retailer reported $1.00 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks' consensus estimate of $0.96 by $0.04. Revenue for the quarter also increased 1.4 percent to $117.5 billion from a year ago and just missed analyst projections of $117.7 billion.

Over the last 5 years, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has averaged a -0.60% YoY EPS growth rate and a 1.70% revenue growth rate.

"While we are pleased that our first-quarter financial performance was better than expectations, our results are not where we want them to be and we have much more work to do", Cornell told investors. "Our plan is gaining traction". Wal-Mart had warned in 2015 that stepped-up investments in stores and in its employees would hurt profits. That's a rare bright spot in a largely gloomy retail environment in which retailers like Macy's and Target saw declines in comparable sales. On Wednesday, Target reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales, and set an optimistic tone for the year.

Analysts at Global Data Retail said Wal-Mart's sharp focus on keeping prices down in grocery was winning some customers back and described growth in e-commerce as evidence of a business "in the ascendancy".

But Walmart is also trying to improve its physical stores, and the results on Thursday indicated that those changes were helping. "There's a lot of bright spots".

By historical standards, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. remains a cheap stock.

Walmart's overall net sales were $75.4 billion in Q1 2018, a 2.9% increase over Q1 2017 which was $73.2 billion. Cohen Lawrence B raised its stake in Wal-Mart Stores by 0.4% in the first quarter.

The company will also use stores as local distribution hubs - using the backroom storage areas to also house goods bought online directly to homes, or held there to be picked up by shoppers. Things are looking grim at several specialty apparel retailers: Ralph Lauren said Thursday that it recorded a 16 percent plunge in quarterly sales. Wal-Mart now offers 50 million items - both first- and third-party - on Walmart.com.

During a conference call with analysts and investors, McMillion said the retail giant's online store is now offering 50 million products, up from 10 million past year.

"We're seeing that customers are placing more orders, they're coming back more often and they're spending more", said Lore, the company's USA e-commerce chief. The Shanghai Composite slipped almost 0.1 percent to 3,087.38. Growth was 29 percent in the fourth quarter.

There is no doubt, though, that the company still has a ways to go before coming close to Amazon in e-commerce.

The deal for Jet was also widely seen as a play for its founder, Marc Lore, a serial digital entrepreneur who could help fix Walmart's online strategy. The question now, they said, is whether the growth can continue. However, sales of those items strengthened as the quarter progressed. Same-store sales - excluding fuel - climbed 1.6 percent, the fifth-straight quarter of increases.

He's replaced the clunky handheld bar-code scanners used by employees since 1984, opened training facilities for 200,000 workers, and freed store managers from the backroom to spend more time on the sales floor.

The worldwide business division reported net sales of $27.1 billion in the first quarter, a decrease of 3.5 percent. The division was led by results from China and Mexico.

Wal-Mart expects its per-share earnings to range from $1 to $1.08 for the current quarter.