Walmart (WMT) Has Found a Winning Formula

The mega-retailer's fourth-quarter results show strong brick-and-mortar performance, still-explosive e-commerce expansion

January 28, 2018 Sacramento / CA / USA - Walmart truck driving on the interstate on a sunny day
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If December’s reported lull in retail spending was supposed to be a sign of waning consumerism, Walmart (WMT) didn’t get the memo. The world’s biggest retailer posted blowout fourth-quarter numbers, topping earnings and revenue estimates on surprisingly strong same-store sales growth. That sparked a swelling of optimism in shareholders, who extended a strong year-to-date rally in WMT stock.

For the quarter ended Jan. 31, Walmart turned $138.8 billion worth of revenue into per-share adjusted earnings of $1.41. Analysts were only modeling profits of $1.33 per share, a slight improvement on the $1.30 earned a year ago. Sales were up 1.9% year-over-year and topped analyst estimates of $138.7 billion.

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James Brumley
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com
James Brumley is a former stock broker, registered investment adviser and Director of Research for an options-focused newsletter. He's now primarily a freelance writer, tapping more than a decade's worth of broad experience to help investors get more out of the market. With a background in technical analysis as well as fundamental analysis, James touts stock-picking strategies that combine the importance of company performance with the power of stock-trade timing. He believes this dual approach is the only way an investor has a shot at consistently beating the market. James' work has appeared at several websites including Street Authority, Motley Fool, Kapitall and Investopedia. When not writing as a journalist, James works on his book explaining his multi-pronged approach to investing.