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Walmart's Strong Digital Initiatives and Burgeoning Ad Sales Propel Earnings

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Key Takeaways

  • Walmart posted third quarter net income of $453 million, representing 17 cents per share.
  • E-commerce bolstered much of the company's earnings, as it grew 15% globally, led by a 24% jump in the U.S. alone that was buoyed by pickup and delivery services.
  • Walmart cautiously raised net sales and EPS guidance amid slowing consumer discretionary spending, though shares fell as the projections were below analyst expectations.
Walmart ()'s third-quarter earnings solidly topped analyst predictions as the company posted strong advertiser sales to third-party sellers on its marketplace, despite lackluster consumer spending and reduced grocery sales.

Walmart posted net income of $453 million, representing 17 cents per share. Revenue surged by 5.2% to $160.80 billion as the company expanded its revenue streams into sales of data and ads.

E-commerce bolstered much of the company's earnings, as it grew 15% globally, led by a 24% jump in the U.S. alone that was buoyed by pickup and delivery services.

Walmart said that comparable store sales were up by 4.9% YOY in its namesake stores and 3.8% in its Sam's Club stores, bolstered by food and health care products sales. However, weak consumer spending has weighed on the big-box retailers at the end of the quarter and Walmart is no exception.

Cost-conscious customers have trimmed discretionary spending, already evidenced by weak sales in competitors like Target (), which reported earnings earlier in the week. Walmart was cautious in its guidance amid these headwinds, raising its net sales guidance for the fiscal year to 5.0% to 5.5%. It also pushed its adjusted EPS outlook to a range of $6.40 to $6.48, which is lower than analyst expectations.

Walmart shares fell 7.3% on the tentative guidance. The company is still up 9.5% so far this year.
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