Does Walmart Deserve More Credit for Q3 Results?

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) released its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The company said that it had $1.16 in earnings per share (EPS) and $128.0 billion in revenue, which compares with consensus estimates of $1.09 in EPS and revenue of $128.65 billion. The same period of last year reportedly had EPS of $1.08 on $124.89 billion in revenue.

During the latest quarter, Walmart U.S. comparable sales increased by 6.6% on a two-year stacked basis. Market share gains in the business were led by food and consumables, including fresh. Sam’s Club comparable sales increased 0.6%.

Walmart U.S. eCommerce sales grew 41%, reflecting strong growth in online grocery. Sam’s Club eCommerce sales grew about 32%.

In terms of guidance, Walmart expects that fiscal 2020 EPS will increase slightly compared to 2019. However, the consensus estimates call for $4.93 in EPS and $526.25 billion in revenue for the year.

Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Walmart, commented:

We’re pleased with our performance for the quarter. Our associates are responding to change in an inspiring way, and we’re proud of them. The Walmart U.S. business saw strong comp sales and expense leverage, and operating income grew for the sixth consecutive quarter. We also celebrated the first anniversary of Flipkart and PhonePe as part of the Walmart family. It was great to see record sales in India during The Big Billion Days event. Looking ahead, we’re prepared for a good holiday season. Our integrated offering with stores and eCommerce delivers value and convenience for our customers. Our associates are working hard to ensure we succeed – one customer, one interaction at a time.

Shares of Walmart closed Wednesday at $120.98, in a 52-week range of $85.78 to $121.36. The consensus price target is $123.75. Following the announcement, the stock was up nearly 2% at $123.00 in Thursday’s early trading indications.