Walmart earnings top estimates fueled by strong grocery sales and back-to-school spending

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A shopper wearing a protective mask shops in a Walmart store on May 18, 2021 in Hallandale Beach, Florida.
Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Walmart is set to report its fiscal second-quarter earnings before the bell on Tuesday.

Here’s what Wall Street is expecting:

  • Earnings per share: $1.57, according to Refinitiv consensus estimates
  • Revenue: $137.17 billion, according to Refinitiv
  • Same-store sales for Walmart U.S.: up 3.3%, according to StreetAccount

Walmart is lapping a year-ago quarter where stimulus checks lifted sales as limited store hours and customers’ concerns about Covid-19 disrupted shopping patterns. The big-box retailer lost market share to grocery competitors with smaller or more convenient locations, according to company data shared by Walmart and its rivals, which tracked same-store sales growth. Walmart also saw a shift toward e-commerce.

Yet the discounter had a strong start to the year in the first quarter and gave a rosy outlook for the quarters ahead. The company said it expects Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club same-store sales to increase in the low single-digits, excluding fuel. It said it anticipates that earnings per share and Walmart U.S.’s operating income will jump by the high single-digits.

As of Monday’s close, Walmart shares were up nearly 5% this year, bringing its market value to $422.42 billion. The stock performance trails the S&P 500’s 33% gain. It also lags behind other competitors, such as Target and Kroger, which have seen shares increase 49% and 37%, respectively, year to date.

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