Walmart Stock Hits 52 Week High as Q1 Shows Big Sales Boosts
- by Jessica Donnel
BENTONVILLE, AR - Thursday brought great news for Walmart investors, as the retailer translated its recent e-commerce acquisitions and investments into big dollar earnings for its first quarterly report of 2017. After all was said and done, the company’s stock hit a 52-week high, reaching what Reuters reported as an 8.7 percent increase to $77.40.
“We delivered a solid first quarter and we're encouraged by the start to the year,” Doug McMillon, President and CEO. “We’re moving faster to combine our digital and physical assets to make shopping 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. Our customers have choices and we have to earn their business with every interaction.”
E-commerce has undoubtedly been a huge target of investment in recent months, picking up companies like Jet.com, Moosejaw, Shoebuy, ModCloth, and possibly Bonobos in the near future. The company’s Q4 report tagged its e-commerce growth at Walmart U.S. at a 63% sales increase, with the majority of that push coming organically through Walmart.com.
"Wal-Mart's long string of investments in labor and e-commerce, including acquisitions, are enabling modest market share gains," John Zolidis, Director Equity Research with the Buckingham Research Group told Reuters.
As we’ve previously reported, Walmart had invested $2.7 billion to increase wages and the amount of training entry-level employees receive. This was another apparent reason for the sales boost, with the retailer reporting that its store visits rose 1.5%, the tenth consecutive quarterly increase.
Other highlights from Walmart’s report include:
- Diluted EPS was $1.00, an increase of 2% over last year
- Total revenue was $117.5 billion, an increase of 1.4%
- Walmart U.S. comp sales increased 1.4%, driven by a traffic increase of 1.5%
- Net sales at Walmart International were $27.1 billion, a decrease of 3.5%
- Excluding currency, net sales were $28.3 billion, an increase of 0.8%
- The company generated $5.4 billion in operating cash flow and returned $3.7 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases
For more on how Walmart’s investments into e-commerce and employee training will continue to affect Walmart’s financial performance in 2017, stay tuned to AndNowUKnow.