Walmart raises outlook as food, online sales boom

August 17, 2023

Business is booming at Walmart and CEO Doug McMillon is crediting in-store and online shoppers for the gains.

“They’re shopping with us across channels — in stores, Sam’s Clubs, and they’re driving eCommerce, which was up 24% globally. Food is a strength, but we’re also encouraged by our results in general merchandise versus our expectations when we started the quarter” he noted. 

The world’s biggest retailer boosted its outlook for the next fiscal year and now expects to earn as much as $6.46 per share vs. prior estimate of $6.20 per share. Sales may rise as much as 4.5% from an expected 3.5%.

The current quarter included a 6.4% jump in comparable sales and a $161.6 billion in consolidated revenue and 5.7% improvement from the same period one year ago.

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As Walmart wins, rivals are seeing more challenges. Target posted second quarter earnings harpooned by the company’s Pride and transgender merchandise that led to a 5.4% dip in comparable sales, while Home Depot sales slipped 2% as reported earlier this week. 

“We are positioned for growth. We can serve people how they want to be served whether that’s in a store or club, picking up an order curbside or having it delivered” McMillon added. 

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As consumers pull back on spending amid higher interest rates led by the U.S. Federal Reserve‘s mission to control inflation, Walmart reported sales strength led by grocery, health and wellness, while general merchandise sales declined slightly.

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Also in the second quarter, Walmart reported $18.2 billion in operating cash flow, an increase of $9 billion, and another $9 billion in free cash flow to notch an increase of $7.2 billion.

Shares of Walmart have gained 13% year-to-date, slightly trailing the S&P 500’s 15% gain but are just shy of its record $163 per share. 

Meanwhile, the retail giant has also repurchased 8 million shares worth $1.2 billion year-to-date.

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Through our philanthropic activities, LupaGroup seeks to positively impact our community, employees and clients.
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