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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Walmart, Google and Amazon

Zacks Equity Research
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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – November 17, 2017 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Walmart WMT, Google GOOGL and Amazon AMZN.

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Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

Wal-Mart’s e-Commerce Growth Sends Stock to New Highs

Shares of Walmart soared to a new all-time high on Thursday after the retail giant posted strong third-quarter sales that were boosted by a massive jump in its e-commerce business.

Walmart investors were clearly thrilled to see the company post Q3 earnings and revenues that beat Wall Street expectations, helping its shares climb nearly 9% in morning trading to reach a new all-time intraday trading high of $97.90 per share.

The big-box power posted $123.18 billion in quarterly revenues and adjusted EPS of $1.00 per share.

On top of that, Walmart grew its comparable store sales, driven in part by increased food sales. The company also delivered its biggest year-over-year sales growth at established domestic stores in over eight years. Walmart raised its full-year earnings guidance as well. 

But what helped Walmart reach a new all-time high goes beyond these top and bottom line beats and improved guidance.

E-commerce

The Arkansas-based company grew its online sales by 50% in the third-quarter. Walmart substantially expanded its e-commerce business at a time when online shopping is needed to help almost all retail companies expand.

Walmart’s online gains can be attributed to the company’s push to bolster its e-commerce business by making more items available and improving its online sales portal. The company also improved its online grocery business and hopes to double the number of curbside grocery pick-up locations to 2,000 by next year.

What’s more, Walmart partnered with Google in an effort to add voice-controlled shopping to its e-commerce arsenal.

Walmart also added to its online business last year when it purchased Jet.com. Since then, Walmart has purchased trendy— and predominantly online—men and women’s clothing companies Bonobos and ModCloth.

And as recently as Monday, Walmart announced a partnership with Lord & Taylor that will see the big-box retailer debut a new online "flagship store" for the department store chain, which is set to debut on Walmart.com in spring 2018.

Bottom Line

Not too long ago, some predicted Walmart’s demise based on inroads Amazon made in online sales, especially in terms of everyday items that had become the discount big-box giant’s bread and butter. Walmart has instead proven—through acquisitions and quick changes to its business practices—that it is here to compete against the online power for the long haul.

And even with Walmart’s e-commerce sales jumping 50% to about $14 billion, they still only account for around 3% of total sales. This should make investors very happy, as the company has room to continue to expand this budding part of its business while its core in-store sales churn forward.

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