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Walmart's United States e-commerce growth rebounds in Q1

17 May 2018

Once again, Walmart's e-commerce numbers did not come at the expense of its store business: traffic to stores was up 0.8% in the quarter which ended April 30, while US comparable sales rose 2.1%, their 15th straight quarterly increase.

Comparable sales at US Walmart stores grew 2.1% in the first quarter, the company said on Thursday, falling short of analysts' estimates.

The rebound in e-commerce sales comes after a sharp slowdown during the crucial holiday quarter, which sent its shares down over 10 per cent and wiped out $31 billion from its market capitalisation. Still, Walmart generates most of its profits and sales in the United States, and its heavy spending to lower prices and expand its online business have investors concerned about the price it's paying to keep up with Amazon.com Inc.

Walmart said its recent acquisition of Flipkart is expected to negatively impact fiscal year 2019 EPS by approximately $0.25 to $0.30, so long as the transaction closes at the end of the second quarter.

The retailer recently revamped its website and has said it will offer more premium products through a partnership with department store chain Lord & Taylor.

Chief executive officer Doug McMillon is overhauling the retailer's global footprint, stepping back from the United Kingdom after two decades and spending $16 billion to acquire a controlling stake in India's biggest e-commerce site.

The average analyst estimate was $1.12 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It also plans to sell a majority stake in its United Kingdom grocery chain Asda Group Ltd to J Sainsbury PLC. Sales at stores open for at least one year, excluding fuel, rose by 2.3%, beating the forecast for 2.1%. Walmart has recorded almost four straight years of USA growth, unmatched by any other retailer.

Revenue came in at $122.69 billion, easily surpassing the $120.39 billion that Wall Street analysts surveyed by Bloomberg were expecting.

Walmart's shares were up 1.8 percent at $87.68 in premarket trade. The company's stock has fallen around 20 percent since reaching an all-time high of $109.98 in late January.

Walmart's United States e-commerce growth rebounds in Q1