Even with COVID-19 lingering and related marketplace challenges affecting operations, Walmart enjoyed a strong third quarter that saw it build momentum, president and CEO Doug McMillion declared.
For the quarter, Walmart posted a company net income of $3.11 billion, or $1.11 per diluted share, versus $5.14 billion, or $1.80 per diluted share, in the year-prior period. Adjusted for one-time events, earnings were $1.45 per diluted share versus $1.34 per diluted share in the year-earlier quarter, the company maintained.
Walmart beat a Yahoo Finance-published analyst consensus earnings per diluted share estimate of $1.40 and topped a $135.6 billion revenue estimate as well.
Net sales were $139.21 billion versus $133.75 billion in the year-previous quarter while total revenues, including membership fees and other income, were $140.53 billion versus $134.71 billion. Operating income was $5.79 billion versus $5.78 billion in the year-before period.
Net sales at Walmart U.S. were $96.6 billion versus $88.4 billion in the quarter a year before as comparable sales, excluding fuel contribution, increased 9.2% with transactions up 5.7% and average ticket up 3.3%, and e-commerce making a 10 basis point contribution to the comp, Walmart noted. Operating income was $4.9 billion versus $4.6 billion in the quarter a year earlier, as reported by the retailer.
E-commerce sales continued to grow at Walmart U.S., if at a slower pace as physical stores rebound from the pandemic, up 8% for the quarter but 87% on a two-year stack basis, the company indicated.
At Sam’s Club, net sales were $19 billion versus $15.8 billion in the quarter a year previous as comparable sales, excluding fuel contribution, increased 13.9% with transactions up 11.1% and average ticket up 2.6%, and e-commerce making a contribution of about 170 basis points to the comp. Operating income was $500 million versus $400 million in the quarter a year before, as reported by Walmart.
In a conference call, McMillon said that, despite challenges in the current holiday season including supply chain strain and inflation, the company had initiatives in place that ensure it will be able to serve consumers effectively in the coming weeks.
“We are ready,” he said. “We have the people, the products and the prices to deliver a great holiday season.”
McMillon asserted that Walmart’s U.S. comp gain of 9.2% at 15.6% on a two-year stack basis represents “remarkable growth. The gains we’ve seen in market share for grocery and strong back-to-school results indicate our inventory position has improved, prices and assortment are compelling and customers continue to move away from early pandemic behaviors. We see tailwinds in our results. A strong consumer, a degree of inflation and government stimulus are all factors, but I also like what I see in the core of the business. Transaction counts in our stores and clubs are growing. Inventory is up 11.5%, our price gaps are where we want them and we’re innovating in the supply chain and adding capacity. And we’re building businesses like Walmart GoLocal, Walmart Connect, Walmart Luminate, Walmart+, Spark delivery, our marketplace and Walmart Fulfilment Services. Financial services is another area where we know we can make a difference in the lives of so many. We recently launched bill payment services in our stores as well as the ability to load money to a bank account or prepaid card.”
He added that Sam’s Club enjoyed strong comps and membership income growth was indicative of the gains the division has been making.
In announcing the financial results, McMillon said, “Our momentum continues with strong sales and profit growth globally. Our omnichannel focus is pushing digital penetration to record levels. We gained market share in grocery in the U.S., and more customers and members are returning to our stores and clubs around the world.”