Retailer ups full-year guidance on strength in food sales
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart today posted fiscal second quarter sales and profits that exceeded Wall Street’s expectations and raised its fiscal 2024 outlook to reflect management’s optimism in the company’s continued ability to attract customers to its stores and digital platforms.
Second-quarter revenue increased 5.7% to $161.6 billion in the quarter.
U.S. same-store sales, excluding fuel, were up 6.4% from a year ago. The company said it continued to gain share in the grocery market in May, June and July.
E-commerce sales in the United States increased 24% in the quarter, led by pickup and delivery.
Walmart said its net income rose 33% to nearly $7.9 billion, or $2.92 per share, compared with $5.1 billion, or $1.88 a share, a year ago. Operating income increased 6.7%.
“We had another strong quarter,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and chief executive officer. “Around the world, our customers and members are prioritizing value and convenience. They’re shopping with us across channels — in stores, Sam’s Clubs, and they’re driving e-commerce, which was up 24% globally.
“Food is a strength, but we’re also encouraged by our results in general merchandise versus our expectations when we started the quarter. Our associates helped deliver increases in transaction counts and units sold, and profit is growing faster than sales. We’re in good shape with inventory, and we like our position for the back half of the year.”
In raising its full year guidance, management said it now expects consolidated net sales will increased by 4% to 4.5%, and that adjusted per-share earnings will range between $6.36 and $6.46. That compares with its prior guidance for consolidated net sales gains of 3.5% and an adjusted earnings per share increase of between $6.10 and $6.20.
Sam’s Club U.S. sales fell 0.3% to $21.8 billion. Comp sales at the warehouse clubs increased on strength in its food and consumables segment, and membership income increased 7% in the quarter.
Net sales at Walmart International increased 11% to $27 billion, on a constant-currency basis, driven by continued strength in Walmex, China and Flipkart.
Walmart’s global advertising business grew about 35% in the quarter.