Wal-Mart released its latest earnings report before opening bell this morning, posting earnings of 98 cents per share on $118.2 billion in sales. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 96 cents per share and $118.6 billion in revenue. In last year’s third quarter, the big box retailer reported $117.4 billion in sales and $1.03 per share in earnings.
Wal-Mart’s same store sales rise again
Wal-Mart’s U.S. same store sales rose 1.2% on the back of a traffic increase of 0.7%. Comparable sales for the retailer’s Neighborhood Market segment rose by about 5.2% year over year. Walmart International sales declined 4.8% year over year to $28.4 billion, although excluding currency headwinds, sales in the International segment rose 2.4% to $30.5 billion.
E-commerce sales rose 20.6% on a constant currency basis, while gross merchandise volume rose 16.8%, also on a constant currency basis. Excluding Wal-Mart’s Yihaodian segment, gross merchandise volume surged 28.6%.
“We had a solid third quarter,” Wal-Mart President and Chief Executive Doug McMillon said in a statement. “Our e-commerce growth accelerated, operations in the U.S. continued to strengthen, and international delivered another solid performance. We are pleased that we can see real progress stemming from our strategic choices and we appreciate the great work by our associates.”
Wal-Mart boosts low end of EPS guide but guide on comps is light
Wal-Mart expects its fiscal 2017 earnings to be between $4.34 and $4.49 per share, which is a bit of improvement from the previous outlook of earnings between $4.29 and $4.49 per share. The big box retailer expects adjusted earnings for fiscal 2017 to come in between $4.20 and $4.35 per share, compared to the previous guide of $4.15 to $4.35 per share. The company looks for same store sales in the U.S. to rise by 1% to 1.5% in the fourth quarter, compared to the consensus of a 1.4% increase.
Wal-Mart returned nearly $3 billion to shareholders during the quarter, including $1.5 billion in dividends and $1.4 billion in share buybacks.
Shares of Wal-Mart slumped by as much as 3% in premarket trades, falling to as low as $69.25.