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Walmart online sales surge, earnings beat expectations

AFP  |  New York 

US saw quarterly profits take a hit but earnings beat analysts' expectations and total sales rose amid the growth of its business, the company said Thursday.

Net income was down USD 905 million from the same period last year to $2.134 billion.

But the key earnings per share measure was $1.14, two cents higher than expected. And net sales, at $121.6 billion, were up 4.4 percent over the same period last year -- more than $1 billion higher than expectations.

Walmart, which is trying to compete with giant Amazon, saw US comparable store sales rise 2.1 percent and customer traffic increase 0.8 percent, although the unseasonably cold weather hurt sales in the

US sales surged 33 percent compared to the same period of the prior year and added a full point to overall sales growth.

"We are changing from within to be faster and more digital, while shaping our portfolio of businesses for the future," said in a statement.

The company's of e-commerce, Marc Lore, told reporters the chain was on track to meet its expectations for 40 percent growth in this year.

"We're playing offense," he said in a conference call.

He noted the company was beefing up to focus on more affluent millennials in where has lower penetration, which includes "a full range of products." The retailer also is pushing its online grocery sales, which figure more prominently on the store's homepage, and 800 stores will have delivery this year.

The company also added a partnership with upscale department store chain to its offerings which will bring more brands to its customers.

The recent purchase of Indian announced earlier this month also figures into the company's global expansion plans.

In its guidance, the company cautioned that the deal was expected to negatively impact earnings per share in the current fiscal year by USD 0.25 to USD 0.30 if the transaction closes at the end of the second quarter.

Walmart noted that share repurchases were down "quite a bit" in the first quarter because of a suspension of buybacks before the announcement. Meanwhile international sales jumped 4.5 percent, with increases in comparable store sales in eight of the 11 markets, notably in

The decrease in net income is primarily due to a change in accounting policy related to Walmart's 2016 equity investment in Chinese JD.com, of which Walmart holds a little more than 10 percent.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 18 2018. 00:45 IST
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