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Author: Alan LittleDate: 2021-08-18

Walmart (WMT) +0.25%, says customers are “out of hibernation” after Q2 beats

American retailer Walmart (WMT) eked out modest share gains on Tuesday after it posted Q2 beats and noted that customers returned to stores to buy clothes and luggage.

Walmart (WMT) shares eased higher in Tuesday’s trading after the retail giant posted Q2 beats as customers came “out of hibernation” and purchased a range of goods including luggage and apparel.

Walmart comfortably surpassed the Wall Street consensus for the three months to 31st July with $1.78 earnings per share and $141.05bn revenue versus the $1.57 and $137.17bn forecasts.

Total revenue was up 2.4% year-over-year, but same-store sales growth was slightly lower, though that is not a surprise as demand for goods in Q2 2020 was strong following the rollout of stimulus checks during the pandemic.

After a year when e-commerce thrived, CFO Brett Biggs said that customers finally returned to stores to buy items including party supplies and luggage.

Walmart’s core grocery offering is also gaining ground again with food sales soaring $2.4bn higher during the latest quarter amid price promotions and a better balance to its inventory

Transactions at stores in the US climbed 6.1%, while online sales rose 6%, though that was down from the mammoth 97% uptick from a year ago.

While supply chain challenges have plagued the industry recently, CEO John Furner said that the sheer scale of Walmart enabled it to navigate those issues and inflation pressure effectively.

Following a strong Q2, the Arkansas-based company is now expected to deliver $6.20 to $6.35 earnings per share for the full year, in addition to 5% to 6% same-store sales growth.

Biggs noted that while Walmart is being cautious about the new delta COVID-19 variant, it does not expect customers’ shopping behaviour to change.

Post-earnings gains have been muted in recent days, and Walmart continued that trend, rising just 0.25% in New York early on Tuesday with shares changing hands for $151.12.

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