Finance

Walmart earnings beat estimates as retailer sees robust growth in grocery and online sales

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People talk outside a Wal-Mart Pickup-Grocery store in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Rick Wilking | Reuters

Walmart is set to report its fiscal first-quarter earnings before the bell on Tuesday.

Here’s what Wall Street is expecting, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates:

  • Earnings per share: $1.21
  • Revenue: $131.97 billion

The discounter’s results will show how much of its sales growth it has been able to sustain, particularly in its e-commerce business, as more consumers get Covid-19 vaccinations and return to more typical, pre-pandemic spending habits. Same-store sales growth rose by 8.6% and e-commerce growth soared by 79% in the U.S. in the most recent fiscal year — a sharp trajectory that will be difficult to match.

Walmart has said it expects net sales to grow in the low single digits with operating income and earnings per share flat or up slightly this fiscal year, when excluding the impact of divestitures. It has not provided a more detailed forecast.

The company is looking to drive customer loyalty with Walmart+, a subscription service that it launched in September. It has between 8 million and 9 million members, according to a recent estimate by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. With the program, the retailer can also give a boost to other emerging parts of its business — like collecting more consumer data that it can use for its growing ad business and selling new kinds of services to customers from financial tools to health-care appointments.

As of Monday’s close, Walmart’s shares have declined nearly 4% so far this year. Shares closed at $138.89 on Monday, bringing the company’s market value to $390.76 billion.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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