Walmart Inc. (NYSE:WMT) posted strong third-quarter results Tuesday, with diluted earnings per share of $1.80 coming in above the $1.18 per share estimate of analysts polled on Barchart.
The company’s adjusted EPS excluded the impact of an 80 cents per share unrealized gain on certain equity investments and a 34 cents per share loss on the sale of Walmart’s Argentina business, the company said. Excluding those amounts, the company’s EPS was $1.34.
Quarterly revenue was reported at $134.7 billion, a 5.2% increase. Operating income was $5.8 billion, up 16.4% on an adjusted basis, the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said.
The U.S. division’s revenue rose 6.2% to $88.4 billion. The company’s international division posted $29.6 billion in revenue, up 1.3%. The Sam’s Club warehouse division posted revenue of $15.8 billion, up 8.3%.
The company’s U.S. e-commerce sales surged 79% year-over-year with strong results across all channels, Walmart said. Free cash flow through the first nine months rose to $16.4 billion, up nearly $10 billion from the same period in 2019, the company said.
Walmart said in a statement that “increased demand for products across multiple categories” led to strong gains in revenue and gross margins. The changes in consumer behavior wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic “will largely persist” for an indefinite period of time, Doug McMillon, the company’s president and CEO, said in the statement.
On an analyst call Tuesday morning, McMillon said the company is “still not where we need to be” in terms of in-store replenishment, which has been turned upside down by the pandemic. However, third-quarter stock-out levels were less than in the prior quarter, which was the peak of the supply chain upheaval.
Walmart is utilizing 2,500 U.S. stores for online order fulfillment, McMillion said. “We can quickly flex this number as the holiday season progresses to help relieve pressure on our eCommerce fulfillment centers, if necessary,” he said on the call. Late last week, Walmart said it was placing pop-up e-commerce fulfillment and distribution centers inside 42 of its U.S. regional distribution centers to manage the expected peak-season volume surge. The outlets will play a key role in year-round e-commerce fulfillment, the company said.
Walmart shares were down fractionally one hour into the Tuesday trading session at $151.77 per share.