Walmart Shares Surge on Earnings Beat

August 16, 2018

By Carlo Versano

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, reported its strongest growth in a decade in its second-quarter earnings released before the bell Thursday.

"Every part of the set of numbers were incredible," said Sucharita Kodali, a retail analyst at Forrester.

Revenue for the quarter was $128 billion ー about $2 billion more than expected ー and adjusted earnings per share were $1.29 compared with an expected $1.22.

Walmart said same-store sales were up 4.5 percent for the second quarter, helped by strong grocery and apparel segments. The e-commerce slice of Walmart's business was up 40 percent compared with the same quarter last year.

The retail giant acquired Jet.com two years ago in a bid to attract more affluent, urban shoppers, and bolster Walmart's e-commerce strategy. It appears to be working, Kodali said, but Amazon maintains an online advantage. "It's still a work in progress," she said Thursday in an interview with Cheddar.

Walmart seems to be riding strong consumer spending, low unemployment, and wage growth to better-than-expected earnings. Shares of Walmart stock rose about 10 percent Thursday morning after the company's earnings report.

But Kodali said the retail sector may face headwinds from tariffs, higher input costs for raw materials, and rising gas prices. "All of these things are going to adversely affect Walmart," she said.

Walmart is the third major retailer to beat earnings expectations this week, after Home Depot and Macy's.