Wal-Mart beats on earnings, thanks to the internet
Walmart's third-quarter earnings topped analysts' expectations, as traffic to the world's largest retailer increased and online shopping grew.
The company on Thursday announced earnings per share of $0.98, two cents more than the Wall Street consensus according to Bloomberg.
Comparable-store sales, or sales at locations open at least one year, rose by 1.2%, just shy of the forecast for 1.3%.
"Our e-commerce growth accelerated, operations in the US continued to strengthen, and international delivered another solid performance," CEO Doug McMillon said in the earnings statement.
Walmart in August agreed to buy Jet.com for $3 billion, the largest e-commerce deal in history, to boost its online shopping experience. If the deal is completed, it could give Walmart the e-commerce muscle it needs to overtake Amazon.
Walmart raised the lower end of its forecast for the year, now anticipating earnings of $4.20 to $4.35 a share. It earlier set the lower end at $4.15.
Grocery costs have been falling since the end of 2015, according to Labor Department inflation data. And last quarter, cheaper groceries took out 0.15% from Walmart's food sales.
Expenses rose 9% as the company spent on the Jet.com acquisition and increased its associates' wages.
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