Walmart (WMT) beat Wall Street expectations for the third quarter and executives say they’re optimistic about a successful holiday season heading into the fourth quarter.
Walmart shares jumped on the news, with shares up 4.14% to $82.48 in afternoon trading. The company reported earnings per share of $1.15, or $3.71 billion, Thursday. Revenue was $119 billion, better than analyst expectations of $118.35 billion, according to Zacks Investment Research.
Sales at stores open at least a year were particularly successful at Walmart’s Neighborhood Market format, where comp sales increased 5.5%. Despite continuing negative store traffic, Walmart U.S. comp sales increased 0.5% for the period ended Oct. 31, the first positive growth in seven quarters. Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran says store traffic is gradually improving though. Online sales grew 21%.
As it readies for the holiday season, Walmart is planning five days of deals from Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday and has already started offering deals on select items. Once again, the company will tout its reputation for cheap prices.
“Being the price leader is an ongoing priority for us and a commitment to customers,” CEO Doug McMillon said in a company statement. “As with every year, that is even more important during the holiday season.”
Walmart will officially start matching prices with major online retailers including Amazon, Target, and Best Buy on Friday, Foran said on a call with media. About half of stores have already unofficially been matching online prices in recent months, he said.
“At the end of the day the manger has that authority to make the right decision,” he said.
Walmart expects earnings per share for the year to be between $4.92 and $5.02. For fourth quarter it expects a range of $1.46 to $1.56.