subscribe Support our award-winning journalism. The Premium package (digital only) is R30 for the first month and thereafter you pay R129 p/m now ad-free for all subscribers.
Subscribe now

New York — US retail giant Walmart raised its full-year forecast and reported better-than-expected first-quarter results on Thursday, betting on easing inflation to further boost demand for essentials and bring a rebound in sales of discretionary products such as apparel and electronics.

Shares of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company were up 6% in premarket trading. If these gains hold, the stock was set to hit a record on Thursday.

The strong performance by the nation’s largest retailer could assuage some investors’ fears about ebbing US consumer spending. Americans have largely been able to weather higher prices but a long bout of inflation has raised concerns that shoppers could become more constrained and a recovery in spending will be slower than previously expected.

While US consumer prices rose less than expected in April, domestic demand has shown signs of cooling as Americans struggle with higher mortgage rates and car insurance premiums. On Thursday, Walmart reported total US comparable sales up 3.9%, excluding fuel, for its first quarter ended April 30. Average transactions rose by a similar amount and unit sales also rose, Walmart said. Analysts on average were expecting US comparable sales growth of 3.15%, according to LSEG.

First-quarter adjusted earnings per share came in at 60c easily beating the 52c average forecast. Total revenue of $161.51bn also topped estimates.

The retail bellwether now expects annual consolidated net sales to rise at the high end or slightly above its previous forecast of 3%-4% growth.

It also expects adjusted profit per share to be at the high end or slightly above its prior estimate of $2.23-$2.37, it said on Thursday.

Reuters

subscribe Support our award-winning journalism. The Premium package (digital only) is R30 for the first month and thereafter you pay R129 p/m now ad-free for all subscribers.
Subscribe now

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.