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Walmart beats estimates for sales on stimulus spending boost, raises profit forecast

A Walmart sign is seen inside its department store in West Haven, Connecticut, U.S., February 17, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Walmart Inc (WMT.N) raised its full-year earnings forecast on Tuesday and beat estimates for same-store sales as it benefited from additional stimulus checks that put more money in consumers’ pockets and boosted demand for apparel and electronics.

Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 6%, excluding fuel, in the first quarter ended April 30. Analysts had estimated growth of 0.86%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

“Our optimism is higher than it was at the beginning of the year. In the U.S., customers clearly want to get out and shop … We anticipate continued pent-up demand throughout 2021,” Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said.

Online sales lost some momentum, rising 37%, compared with a surge of 74% in the year-earlier period and 69% in the prior quarter.

Walmart said it now expects fiscal 2022 earnings to increase in high single digits, while previously the company had forecast a slight drop in profit for the year.

Operating income rose 32.3% to $6.91 billion in the quarter, while adjusted earnings was $1.69 per share.

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Source: Reuters

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