Walmart surpasses holiday forecasts on Wall Street with surging e-commerce sales

Walmart exceeded expectations for the holiday season, reporting a 6% increase in quarterly revenue. The surge in sales was fueled by strong consumer demand, particularly in e-commerce, where global sales saw double-digit growth. Additionally, Walmart revealed its plans to acquire Vizio, a smart TV maker, for $2.3 billion in a bid to bolster its advertising business.

Chief Financial Officer John David Rainey noted that customers exhibited cautious spending habits, opting for smaller purchases but shopping more frequently. High-ticket items like electronics and computers faced some challenges in sales. Despite this, Walmart maintained robust sales momentum even after the holiday rush.

Walmart’s financial performance surpassed Wall Street estimates, with adjusted earnings per share coming in at $1.80 compared to the expected $1.65, and revenue reaching $173.39 billion against the projected $170.71 billion. However, net income for the quarter declined to $5.49 billion from $6.28 billion in the same period last year.

Looking ahead, Walmart expects consolidated net sales to increase by 4% to 5% in the fiscal first quarter, with adjusted earnings projected to range between $1.48 and $1.56 per share. For fiscal 2025, the retailer anticipates a 3% to 4% rise in consolidated net sales and adjusted earnings per share of $6.70 to $7.12.

Despite inflation challenges, Walmart’s value-oriented approach has resonated with customers across various income levels. The company has diversified its revenue streams by expanding its third-party marketplace, offering subscription-based services like Walmart+, and ramping up its advertising business.

Comparable sales at Walmart U.S. increased by 4%, while Sam’s Club saw a 1.9% rise, including fuel. E-commerce sales witnessed significant growth, surging by 23% globally and 17% in the U.S., driven by initiatives like curbside pickup and home delivery.

Although customer transactions rose by 4.3% in the U.S., the average ticket size slightly decreased. In contrast to many companies cutting costs, Walmart announced plans to open or expand over 150 stores in the U.S. and invest in the modernization of existing locations.

Moreover, Walmart revealed initiatives to boost employee compensation, including raising store manager wages to an average of $128,000 per year and offering substantial bonuses. The company also announced a 3-for-1 stock split and saw its shares perform strongly, closing at $170.36, up 8% year-to-date, outperforming the S&P 500.