Walmart’s Grocery Gains Power Sales Beat and Stock Jump

Vehicles in a parking lot at a Walmart store
Vehicles in a parking lot at a Walmart store in Torrance, Calif. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg News)

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Walmart Inc. jumped Nov. 15 after the retail giant reported strong quarterly results and boosted its annual forecast, putting its shares on pace to erase this year’s losses.

The stock rose as much as 7.7%, the most since September 2020 and the highest in six months, after Walmart’s third-quarter profit and sales came in above analysts’ expectations and management raised its annual guidance, suggesting a healthy holiday season. Year-to-date, shares are up 2.8% compared to a 4.4% decline through close on Nov. 14.

This was a “grand slam” after a “challenging” second quarter, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. analyst Paul Lejuez wrote in a note. Furthermore, the total net sales and earnings-per-share guidance for the fourth quarter looks “conservative,” he says.

Chart of Walmart stock price

In addition to earnings and sales coming in above consensus estimates, Walmart “significantly improved” its inventory position, and Walmart U.S. continued to show market share gains in the grocery category, CEO Doug McMillon said in a statement. Walmart-only U.S. stores saw comparable sales, excluding gas, climb 8.2%, meaningfully beating the 3.46% growth expected by analysts.

Peers including Target Corp. and Costco Wholesale Corp. are also trading higher on Nov. 15. Target reports its third-quarter results Nov. 16.

Walmart Inc. ranks No. 2 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest private carriers in North America.

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