Walmart’s Q4 shows strong growth in its grocery pickup and delivery services

Walmart reported better-than-expected fourth quarter financial results Tuesday, supported by strong performance during the holiday season. The world’s largest retailer announced that like-for-like sales rose 4.2 percent for the fourth quarter, including Christmas, and exceeded expectations.

Online sales rose 43 percent for the quarter. Walmart attributes the growth to the expansion of its online grocery pickup and delivery services and a wider range of products on its website.

On a two-year basis, Walmart said grocery computer sales were the best in nine years. The company said it added about 1,000 grocery pickup locations and that pickup and delivery are now available in more than 2,100 and nearly 800 locations, respectively.

Overall, Walmart closed 2018 with online sales growth of more than 40 percent. The results are in line with the company’s broader omnichannel efforts and plans to accelerate food delivery in the battle against Amazon.

Walmart reported net income of $ 3.69 billion, or $ 1.27 per share. Revenue increased $ 2.5 billion to $ 138.8 billion on non-GAAP earnings of $ 1.41 per share. Analysts had expected revenue of $ 138.65 billion and earnings of $ 1.33 per share. Looking at the full year, Walmart had sales of $ 514.4 billion with earnings per share of $ 4.91, which also beat estimates. Walmart’s shares rose roughly 2 percent in early trading.

In terms of guidance, Walmart reiterates its full-year revenue and profit guidance made in October, with U.S. Walmart stores growing between 2.5 and 3 percent in the same store, down slightly from the previous fiscal year.

“Advances in initiatives to accelerate growth and a favorable economic environment have helped us generate strong sales and gain market share,” said Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart. “We’re excited about the work we’re doing to reach customers more digitally. Our commitment to customers is clear – we’ll be there when, where and how they want to shop and deliver new, convenient products that are unique Walmart are. ”

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