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Walmart Tops Q1 Estimates and Grows More Bullish on the Year

The mass merchant’s sales increased by 6 percent in the first quarter. 

Walmart Tops Q1 Estimates and Grows More Bullish on the Year

A Walmart store in Oklahoma.

Walmart Inc. started out 2024 with some momentum — and is feeling more bullish about the year. 

The mass market giant’s first-quarter net income jumped by more than 200 percent to $5.1 billion, or 63 cents a share. Adjusted earnings per share rose a milder 22.4 percent to 60 cents, which was still well ahead of the 52 cents analysts projected, according to Yahoo Finance.

Revenues for the quarter ended April 30 increased 5.9 percent to $161.5 billion from $152.3 billion a year earlier, with a 3.8 percent increase in comparable store sales in the U.S.

Walmart’s global e-commerce business — which topped $100 billion in sales for the first time last year — grew by 21 percent in the quarter with orders fulfilled from the company’s store network and its third-party marketplace. 

The company’s advertising business expanded by 24 percent, showing continued growth at what many see as a profit center given Walmart’s massive consumer reach.  

Walmart Tops Q1 Estimates and Grows More Bullish on the Year

Fashion a recently remodeled Walmart.

Inventory levels fell 2.7 percent compared with a year ago, including a 4.2 percent drop in the U.S., where the retailer is looking to operate efficiently and catering to consumers who have been hit hard by inflation.

“Our team delivered a great quarter,” said Doug McMillon, president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Around the world our goal is simple — we’re focused on saving our customers both money and time. It’s inspiring to see how our associates are simultaneously executing the fundamentals and innovating to make shopping with us more enjoyable and convenient. We’re people-led and tech-powered, and that combination is propelling our business.”

Walmart now expects to be “at the high-end or slightly above” its previous top and bottom line guidance, calling for adjusted earnings of $2.23 to $2.37 a share and sales growth of 3 percent to 4 percent.

Investors liked what they saw and sent shares of Walmart up 4.5 percent to $62.52 in premarket trading.