Walmart updates guidance after strong quarterly results

US retailer Walmart has reported a 4.7 per cent increase in operating income in the third quarter of FY19 to US$4.98 billion ($6.84 billion), and a 3.4 per cent increase in comparable sales, when compared to the same period in 2017.

Total revenue for the period was US$124.9 billion ($171.67 billion), an increase of 1.4 per cent.

Off the back of its strong quarterly results, the retailer has updated its expectations for fiscal year 2019, raising adjusted EPS guidance from US$4.65-US$4.80 ($6.39-$6.60) to US4.75-US$4.85 ($6.53-$6.67) per share.

“We have momentum in the business as we execute our plan and benefit from a favorable [sic] economic environment in the US,” Walmart president and chief executive Doug McMillon said in a statement.

“We’re accelerating innovation and utilizing [sic] technology to shape the future of retail [and] making shopping at Walmart faster and easier.”

The retailer saw a 43 per cent increase in online sales in the quarter, largely thanks to its investment in its e-commerce business, as well as key acquisitions, according to GlobalData Retail’s managing director Neil Saunders.

“Making online work for customers has been a priority for Walmart, but the company is also conscious that online needs to deliver in terms of profitability,” Saunders said.

“On this front, we are impressed with the experimentation on automation and the testing of various last mile solutions for grocery. We believe that Walmart has the skill, financial muscle, and the physical infrastructure to drive profitable online growth in a way that many other retailers, especially grocery players, will struggle to achieve.”

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