Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported an 8.6 percent increase in second-quarter earnings amid strong U.S. sales and positive e-commerce performance.
To view the company’s full news release, click here.
Before the stock markets opened Thursday, the world’s largest retailer reported earnings of $3.77 billion, or $1.21 per share, for the quarter that ended July 31, up from $3.48 billion, or $1.08 per share, in the same period a year ago.
The Bentonville-based company topped the average earnings estimate of $1.02 cents per share, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.
Revenue rose .5 percent, to $120.9 billion, including membership fees and other income.
Walmart’s U.S. division, the company’s largest, reported net sales of $76.24 billion, up 3.1 percent. Sales at stores open at least a year, considered a key indicator of a retailer’s health, rose 1.6 percent.
This was the U.S. division’s eighth straight quarter of positive same-store sales.
Net sales for Walmart International fell 6.6 percent, to $28.62 billion.
And net sales, including fuel, at Sam’s Club, Walmart’s warehouse club division, fell 1.3 percent to $14.54 billion. Same-store sales, excluding fuel, grew .6 percent.
Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon said the company’s strategy in the United States is working, citing the positive same-store sales.
“We remain focused on building e-commerce capabilities globally and executing our omni-channel plan, as evidenced by our recent alliance with JD.com in China and agreement to acquire Jet.com in the U.S.,” McMillon said in a news release. Globally, e-commerce sales increased 11.8 percent in the quarter.
Brett Biggs, the retailer’s chief financial officer, said Walmart returned $3.7 billion to shareholders during the quarter through dividends and share repurchases.
Walmart’s shares were up $1.34 or 1.84 percent at mid-morning, trading at $74.27 on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares have traded between $56.30 and $75.19 in the past year.