Look Out Amazon, Walmart's Online Business Is Booming

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Stocks are edging higher in early trading on Wall Street, Friday, May 19, 2017, as traders look over a mixed bag of earnings reports.

Total revenues were up 1.4% to $117.5 billion versus the quarter a year previous while net sales were up 1.3% to $116.5 billion.

Wal-Mart said sales at US stores open at least a year rose 1.4 percent, excluding fuel price fluctuations. In its latest earnings report, the company noted that e-commerce sales surged a startling 63%. "We're moving faster to combine our digital and physical assets to make our shipping simple and easy for customers".

"Our plan is gaining traction, and I want to thank our associates for their hard work, ingenuity and commitment to our customers".

US stock indexes edged higher in early trading Thursday a day after the market posted its biggest single-day loss in eight months.

The quarterly results proved to be a rare bright spot in a quarter that many other retailers that are also brick and mortar struggled in their attempts to attract shoppers. With fuel, comp sales grew 3 percent.

Wal-Mart, like other traditional retailers, has played catch-up to Amazon.com and other online companies. "There's a lot of bright spots".

"The first quarter was a solid quarter for Wal-Mart on multiple fronts as margins held steady despite the myriad ongoing investments in people, technology and price", said Moody's analyst Charlie O'Shea.

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Wal-Mart's strong results show the retailer is benefiting from its US$2.7 billion (RM11.7 billion) investment to increase entry-level wages and enhance the training of its workforce that has resulted in better stocked shelves and cleaner stores.

Wal-Mart is aggressively investing in making prices more competitive compared to rivals. Officials said the website now offers 50 million products for purchase, up from 10 million a year ago. The company said most of the growth was from its existing online operations rather than from acquisitions. The Company operates through three segments: Walmart U.S., Walmart International and Sam's Club. Growth was 29 percent in the fourth quarter.

"Walmart's e-commerce business is in the ascendancy", added Saunders. Year-to-date, WMT has gained 15.63%, versus a 7.28% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period. Wal-Mart bought Jet.com in September for $3.3 billion and has since bought up smaller e-commerce sites such as Modcloth, Moosejaw and ShoeBuy. But Lore and McMillon stressed most of the gains were "organic" and came from Walmart.com. US same-store sales will grow 1.5 percent to 2 percent, Wal-Mart said. Walmart International sales fell 3.5% but stripping out the impact of the strong US dollar, they slipped 0.8%.

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 18th.

Wal-Mart's revenue at stores opened at least a year rose 1.5 percent, at the top end of the company's estimated range of 1 percent to 1.5 percent. The division was led by results from China and Mexico.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. has a consensus hold rating from 34 Wall Street analysts, and the number of shares now sold short amount to at least 2.57% of shares outstanding. For its second quarter, Walmart said it expects earnings in the range of $1 to $1.08 a share.

Now the shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.