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Walmart beats as online sales surge

Business Insider | May 17, 2018, 04.44PM IST

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Jim Anderson/AP Photos

  • Walmart beat on both the top and bottom lines.
  • Online sales surged by 33% versus a year ago.
  • Cool April weather negatively impacted merchandise sales and traffic.

Walmart on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts' expectations, boosted by strong online sales.

America's largest brick-and-mortar retailer said e-commerce sales surged by 33% compared with the same period last year. Online sales were up 23% year-over-year in the fourth quarter.

"We are changing from within to be faster and more digital, while shaping our portfolio of businesses for the future," Walmart President and CEO Doug McMillon said in the earnings release.

Adjusted earnings came in at $1.14 a share, beating analysts' forecast for $1.12, according to Bloomberg. Sales, excluding fuel, at stores open for at least one year rose by 2.3%, beating the forecast for 2.1%. The company said unseasonably cool weather negatively impacted merchandise sales and traffic.

Also notable was the 23 basis point hit to gross margins caused by higher fuel costs and third party trucking market rate pressures.

Walmart said its recent acquisition of Flipkart is expected to negatively impact fiscal year 2019 EPS by approximately $0.25 to $0.30, so long as the transaction closes at the end of the second quarter. The retailer will update its guidance alongside its second quarter results.

Walmart's stock was little changed immediately following the results.

This story is developing.

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