Strong Q3 in Walmart

Walmart associates restock toilet paper. Walmart press photo
Walmart did even better than expected in Q3. The company announces more than $700 Million in bonuses for Q3 to its employees. Photo: Walmart press photo
By Reidar Molthe

4 December 2020 10:02

Strong Q3 in Walmart

The world’s biggest grocery retailer, Walmart, is among the many grocery retailers that scores high on Covid19. The retail giant delivered a positive surprise despite analysts' optimism about its performance.

Q3 comparable sales grew 6.4% and Walmart U.S. eCommerce sales grew 79% - near doubling. 

The company’s net sales and operating results continue to be affected by the global health crisis. Increased demand for products across multiple categories led to strong top-line and gross margin results.

“This was another strong quarter on the top and bottom line. Our associates continue to impress during this challenging year. They are working together to serve customers and communities in new, relevant ways and we are very proud of them. We think these new customer behaviors will largely persist and we are well positioned to serve customers with the value and experience they’re looking for,” says Doug McMillon President and CEO in a press statement.

Beat expectations

According to the earnings report, Walmart's quarterly revenue jumped 5.2% year over year, reaching $134.7 billion. Earnings per share rose 15.5% over Q3 2019 to $1.34 per share.

Zacks Equity Research reports these metrics represent positive surprises above analyst consensus predictions of 1.3% and 12.6%, respectively.

Wall Street was expecting a robust performance from massive retailer Walmart, but the discount department store and grocery chain not only beat expectations on earnings per share (EPS) and revenue, but also on growth in comparable sales and e-commerce expansion.

Bonuses

Walmart Announces that more than $700 Million in bonuses for Q3 to its employees. Totally Walmart will pay $2.8 Billion in total cash bonuses to associates in 2020.

Spread on 1,8 million employees corresponds to about 1.500 US dollars per head.

In Norway the biggest player, NorgesGruppen, is doing much of the same – dealing out 1.000 dollars per head.

Strategic shift

Walmart has been shifting strategically toward online sales while reducing sub-optimal brick-and-mortar commitments, including selling off its Japanese Seiyu supermarket stake at a $2 billion non-cash loss.

Walmart to sell most of Seiyu to KKR and Rakuten

U.S retailer Walmart Inc has agreed to sell most of Japanese supermarket chain Seiyu to the investment firm KKR and e-commerce company Rakuten in a deal that values Seiyu at $ 1.65 billion (172.5 billion yen).

At the same time Walmart is working to become more competitive by branching out into new markets such as pet care, insurance, and its Walmart+ subscription service.

Amazon, however, remains a powerful e-commerce competitor and dominates the third-party seller marketplace, potentially setting a limit on Walmart's e-commerce growth possibilities?

Sources: Forbes, NYT, FT, Walmart, Reuters, Bloomberg.

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