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Walmart beats expectations, raises forecast

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The U.S. retailer Walmart raised its same-store sales forecast after beating analysts’ estimates thanks to back-to-school spending after more than a year of distance learning.

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The world’s No. 1 retailer has benefited from stimulus measures taken during the pandemic, including vouchers and tax credits.

According to IBES data from Refinitiv, sales excluding fuel at the group’s U.S. stores open at least a year rose 5.2% in the second quarter, beating analysts’ expectations by 3.69 percent.

Walmart now expects U.S. same-store sales growth of between 5 and 6 percent for its fiscal year 2022, up from less than 5 percent.

The company’s CEO Doug McMillon announced they have increased their share of grocery market. Thousands of internet sellers were added to the marketplace and the company almost doubled its U.S. advertising sales in the quarter from a year ago, he added.

Sales were up 37% in the first quarter and 97% a year earlier. However, its growth slowed to 6% in the second quarter.

Growth in online selling in the U.S. decreased sharply to 6% from 97% in the first quarter. Revenues grew 37 percent, and in the fourth quarter, revenues grew 69 percent. Online sales have doubled since the retailer began offering the service two years ago.

In adjusted earnings per share, the company earned $1.78, up 21.4% to $7.35 billion (6.24 billion euros).

In the year-ago period, Walmart’s net income was $6.48 billion, or $2.27 per share, but fell to $4.28 billion, or $1.52 per share. On a per share basis, the company earned $1.78. According to Refinitiv, analysts expected Walmart to earn $1.57 per share.

Despite the near-end of the holiday shopping season, Walmart had its highest quarterly revenue ever. Wall Street expected $137.17 billion of revenue, which the company surpassed by 2.4 percent.

The retail pandemic benefited Walmart shares as well. As of Monday’s close, Walmart’s shares were up about 5% this year over Target and Kroger, which saw their shares rise 49% and 37%, respectively, in 2021. Moreover, it trails the S&P 500’s gains of 33%.

For MetaNews.

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