Walmart Q1 boosted by 74% surge in online coronavirus buying, sales jump 10%

Retail giant Walmart (WMT) reported stronger-than-expected first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, driven by a surge in e-commerce and higher traffic in stores as the coronavirus pandemic sparked massive purchases in household goods.

Here were the main numbers compared to Bloomberg consensus forecasts:

  • Revenue: $134.6 billion vs. expectations of $132.48 billion

  • Adjusted EPS: $1.84 vs. expectations of $1.12

  • Walmart U.S. comp-store sales (excluding gas): 10% versus expectations of +8.6%

  • Walmart U.S. e-commerce sales: up 74%

As consumers stocked up on pantry staples and household products during widespread stay-at-home orders sparked by the COVID-19 crisis, the retail giant reaped the benefit in sales and revenue. Walmart’s stock, which closed up Monday at $127.75, soared by than 4% higher in the pre-market.

“Our omnichannel strategy, enabling customers to shop in seamless, flexible ways, is built for serving the needs of customers during this crisis and in the future,” CEO Doug McMillon said in the management commentary.

The closely-followed comparable stores sales number jumped 10%, as homebound customers made fewer, but larger trips. The average ticket size grew 16.5%, while the comparable transaction number depicted 5.6%. 

“As a result of the health crisis and related stay-at-home mandates, customers consolidated store shopping trips with larger average baskets and shifted more purchases to eCommerce,” the retailer said in its commentary.

Walmart saw strong e-commerce growth, with sales growing 74% in the quarter, driven by its popular online grocery pickup and delivery service. At the end of the quarter, Walmart featured online grocery pickup at 3,300 stores and same-day delivery at 1,850 stores. The retailer also launched Express Delivery during the quarter. 

Since March 19, Walmart added 200,000 associates, mostly in temporary or part-time roles, across its stores, clubs, and distribution centers to keep up with growing demand and to provide employment to those who lost their jobs as the pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy. Walmart also doled out cash bonuses to its workers.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Julia La Roche is a Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on 

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