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Walmart beats sales expectations, boosts guidance

Heidi Chung
Reporter

Walmart (WMT) beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines for its second quarter. The world’s largest retailer also boosted its fiscal 2020 adjusted EPS and same-store sales forecast. Walmart shares soared 5% as of market open Thursday.

Here are the numbers for Walmart’s second quarter, compared to Bloomberg-compiled estimates:

  • Revenue: $130.4 billion vs. $130.08 billion expected

  • Adj. earnings per share: $1.27 vs. $1.22 expected

  • Same-store sales: +2.8% vs. +2.5% expected

Walmart now predicts that U.S. same-store sales growth will be at the high end of its previously guided range between 2.5%-3%. Adjusted EPS is now expected to either increase or decrease slightly this year. Walmart was previously anticipating a low single-digit decline including the impact of its Flipkart transaction.

Sam’s Club same-store sales grew 1.2% during the second quarter, better than analyst expectations for 0.6% growth.

Online sales have been a bright spot for Walmart, as the company continues to bet on the e-commerce space. In the second quarter, e-commerce sales grew 37% with strong growth in grocery. Sam’s Club’s online sales grew 35%.

At the end of the second quarter, Walmart had more than 2,700 grocery pick-up locations and more than 1,100 delivery locations in the U.S. Walmart also reported that its NextDay delivery service from Walmart.com now covers about 75% of the U.S. population.

A Walmart megastore (Photo by Francis Dean/Corbis via Getty Images)

Tariffs looming

The world’s largest retailer has recently been thrust into the spotlight as concerns about looming tariffs continue to blanket the retail industry.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) office released two lists of Chinese imports. One list outlined the goods that would be hit with a 10% tariff effective September 1, and another list of goods that would see a 10% tariff on December 15. Investors will be paying close attention to any additional commentary from management on how the tariffs could impact Walmart’s business going forward. While a bulk of Walmart’s goods are sourced in the U.S., the retailer does bring in about a third of its products internationally.

Walmart CFO Brett Biggs addressed the tariff concerns in Walmart’s management commentary.

“We’re continuing to monitor the ongoing tariff discussions and are hopeful that an overarching long-term agreement can be reached. Our merchants continue to execute appropriate mitigation strategies as our goal 17 is to be the low-price leader,” Biggs said. “Over the past several months, the team has been able to thoughtfully manage pricing and margins with both our customers and shareholders in mind. We are currently reviewing the proposed List 4 tariff information that was published by the USTR on Tuesday. Our updated guidance reflects our current understanding of the timing of tariff implementation on various categories as List 4 affects a larger part of our assortment than the prior tariffs.”

CEO McMillon on guns

Walmart is also under pressure from the public about its gun sales. Unions and organizations are planning rallies across the country this weekend to stop sales of firearms in Walmart stores and pressure the retailer to use its influence to advocate for gun reform.

At the beginning of his prepared statement, CEO Doug McMillon immediately addressed the two recent fatal tragedies that took place at Walmart stores. “Our hearts continue to be with our associates in El Paso and Southaven and we are focused on the safety of our associates and customers in all our stores and clubs. Those tragic and painful events will be with us forever, and our hearts go out to the families that were impacted,” McMillon said.

McMillon then went on to address the steps that Walmart has already taken to help create safer communities. Walmart estimated that it represents about 2% of the current market for firearms, which placed it outside of the top three sellers in the industry. The retailer also estimated that it has about 20% of the market share in ammunition.

This post is developing. Please check back for updates.

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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