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Watch out Amazon. Walmart is coming for you

24 May 2017

Walmart Stores profit was down 1.3% during its fiscal year first quarter, but a surge in e-commerce and strong sales in the US showed how the retailer continues to attract consumers during a challenging time in the industry.

This year, New York-based market researcher eMarketer predicts that ecommerce will represent 9.2 percent of total retail sales in the United States, which the company expects to reach $5 trillion, a 3.5 percent increase over 2016, and that US mobile retail sales will come to $157.14 billion in 2017, up 35.5 percent over last year and accounting for 34 percent of USA ecommerce sales and 3.1 percent of total retail sales.

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Wal-Mart Stores on Thursday reported another quarter of positive same-store sales growth in the USA and better-than-expected earnings, suggesting its price-and-service investments were gaining additional traction despite a rough environment for growth. Its online sales rose a staggering 63 percent and added 0.8 percentage points to its first-quarter same-store sales gain.

"The acquisitions have received a lot of attention, but our plan in e-commerce is not to buy our way to success", said Doug McMillion, Walmart's chief executive, in remarks to investors.

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Total shares held by institutions as of the most recent company filings are 2,382,516,767 with a reported 56,871,784 bought and 254,575,966 sold. We are particularly pleased that Walmart is using discounting to encourage online shoppers to use more economical store pickup rather than delivery. Yesterday, Target reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and sales, and set an optimistic tone for the year.

TRIPPED UP: Foot Locker plunged 14.9 percent after the athletic footwear and apparel retailer's latest quarterly profits fell short of analysts' forecasts.

Analysts said the company is now benefitting from its having lagged behind other retailers in online business.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) - Wal-Mart delivered first-quarter results that show it's winning over shoppers at stores and online, even as the competition intensifies. US operating income rose 0.9% for the quarter while the company's global segment saw a quarterly jump of 9%. "E-commerce is way ahead of where it was this time a year ago just in the short eight or nine months he's been running it". On Wednesday, he said the first-quarter performance "was better than our expectations".

Analysts expect Gap Inc (NYSE: GPS) to post quarterly earnings at $0.29 per share on revenue of $3.39 billion after the closing bell.

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The worldwide business division reported net sales of $27.1 billion in the first quarter, a decrease of 3.5 percent. Second-quarter same-store sales are expected to rise 1.5% to 2.0% at US stores and 1.0% to 1.5% at Sam's Club stores, excluding fuel sales. Analysts were calling for earnings of 96 cents per share, down just a bit from the 98 cents per share earned in 2016's comparable quarter. Eastern Time. The Dow Jones industrial average added 114 points, or 0.6 percent, to 20,777.

"The majority of our growth is and will be organic", said McMillon.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index increased 3 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,360.

Wal-Mart returned $3.7 billion to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks in the quarter.

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