Walmart earnings miss as holiday season disappoints, outlook falls short of estimates

Business

A shopper pushes 2 carts full of Morf Boards, a popular kids toy, through a Walmart in Phoenix, Arizona.

Dominic Valente | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Walmart is set to report earnings for the holiday quarter before the bell on Tuesday, the same day it will be holding a highly anticipated meeting with investors in New York.

Here’s what analysts are expecting for Walmart’s fiscal fourth quarter, based on Refinitiv data:

  • Earnings per share: $1.43
  • Revenue: $142.49 billion
  • Same-store sales: up 2.3% in the U.S.

Wall Street is eager to see how Walmart fared this holiday season.

The big-box company didn’t release its holiday results, but rival Target‘s holiday sales results disappointed, with Target citing weakness in toys, leading many to believe Walmart’s results would be similarly less upbeat.

Gordon Haskett analyst Chuck Grom last week lowered his expectations for Walmart’s fourth-quarter same-store sales, saying, in part, Walmart was likely impacted by the shorter holiday season. He is now calling for growth of roughly 2%.

As Walmart’s grocery business has been on fire, its e-commerce operations have been more controversial. And some of its bets have failed.

Just last week, Walmart said it would be discontinuing its text-to-order e-commerce service, known as Jetblack. It launched the business in New York back in 2018. But it hasn’t been able to make money on the project, nor grow the audience at scale, according to reporting by The Wall Street Journal. Instead, Walmart said it plans to incorporate some of Jetblack’s technology into its own business.

It sold ModCloth, a clothing start-up it had previously acquired in a bid to grow the reach of its audience, last year. Another one of its acquisitions, Bonobos, laid off employees last year. And Bonobos founder Andy Dunn late last year announced his departure from Walmart. Dunn had been tasked with helping the head of Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business, Marc Lore, acquire digital brands.

There has also been ample shake-up among Walmart’s executive ranks of late.

Last month, it said its chief merchant Steve Bratspies would be departing. That news came after the chief merchant for Walmart’s U.S. e-commerce business, Ashley Buchanan, left in December to become CEO of crafts retailer Michael’s. And last summer, Walmart integrated many Jet.com positions into its own business, eliminating the Jet.com president role.

Walmart has said it is on track to report e-commerce sales growth of 35% for the year. During the third quarter, online sales were up 41%.

Walmart shares are up about 19% over the past 12 months. It has a market value of roughly $332.7 billion.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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