Walmart beats analyst expectations as online orders surge 79%, revenue jumps to $134 billion

  • Walmart has recorded a total revenue of $134.7 billion in the quarter to October 31, a 5.2% increase on the same time period last year.
  • Customers bought more electronics, sporting goods, and groceries during the pandemic, it said on Tuesday.
  • Online sales for the retailer surged 79%
  • During the quarter, Walmart announced plans to revise Black Friday, partnered with three drone companies for delivery, and launched its Amazon prime rival, Walmart Plus.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Walmart's earnings beat analyst expectations as online sales for the retailer surged 79% and customers bought more electronics, sporting goods, and groceries during the pandemic.

The company recorded total revenue of $134.7 billion in the quarter to October 31, a 5.2% increase on the same time period last year, it said Tuesday.

Comparable US sales, which only includes stores open at least a year, rose 6.4%, excluding fuel sales. This beat analyst expectations, who had estimated an increase of 4.16%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Walmart's operating income rose 22.5% to $5.8 billion, and the company paid around $600 million in incremental expenses related to COVID-19.

Online sales also grew 41% at Sam's Club, owned by Walmart, and comparable sales increased 11.1%, though it reported reduced tobacco sales.

Walmart International, however, posted a more moderate increase in sales. Net sales in the quarter reached $29.6 billion, an increase of 1.3% year-on-year. Part of this was caused by changes in currency rates, the company said.  Excluding currency, net sales would have been $30.6 billion, an increase of 5.0%, led by Flipkart, sales in Canada, and Walmex.

On Sunday, Walmart announced it was selling a majority stake in 300-store Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu, which would bring its own stake down to 15%. In October, Walmart sold UK grocery chain Asda for $8.8 billion after 21 years of ownership, marking a near-exit from the UK.

In the quarter, Walmart continued to diversify its business to try to meet changing customer needs during the COVID-19 pandemic

It unveiled plans to revise Black Friday by launching its deals over three separate days, with offers available online at least two days before they hit stores.

Walmart also partnered with three different drone companies to start experimenting with delivery tech as shoppers seek contact-free ways of getting groceries.

In September, the retail giant launched its Amazon Prime rival Walmart Plus, which offers free grocery delivery and fuel discounts for $98 a year.

Walmart expected the demand for convenient, digital, and contact-free shopping to continue, it said.

"We think these new customer behaviors will largely persist and we're well positioned to serve customers with the value and experience they're looking for," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said.

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