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Walmart scores another strong quarter amid coronavirus upheaval

·1-min read
Walmart has been a winner during the coronavirus, as more shoppers continue to pick the retailer behemoth after non-essential rivals were shuttered during spring coronavirus lockdowns
Walmart has been a winner during the coronavirus, as more shoppers continue to pick the retailer behemoth after non-essential rivals were shuttered during spring coronavirus lockdowns

Walmart reported another strong quarter Tuesday, pivoting during the coronavirus pandemic, with more consumers shifting to e-commerce and shopping less frequently but with bigger orders.

Net income came in at $5.1 billion, up 56.2 percent from the year-ago period, following a 5.2 percent increase in sales to $134.7 billion in the quarter ending October 31, easily topping analyst estimates.

Walmart has emerged as a winner during the disruption of Covid-19, notching huge sales during the spring lockdowns when it kept selling while "non-essential" stores were shuttered and strengthening its ties to consumers who adjusted their shopping habits during the pandemic.

The company continued to prosper in the US summer months and into the fall, in part through increased sales on e-commerce or under a hybrid model where consumers order online and pick up at stores. Pickup is available at three-quarters of Walmart's 4,753 stores and same-day delivery operates from about 60 percent of the stores.

In Walmart's US business, which accounts for about two-thirds of revenues, consumers shopped less frequently, but bought more when they did.

The number of transactions fell 14.2 percent during the quarter, but the average ticket surged 24 percent.

"This was another strong quarter on the top and bottom line," said Chief Executive Doug McMillon. "We think these new customer behaviors will largely persist and we're well positioned to serve customers with the value and experience they're looking for."

Shares rose 1.0 percent to $153.95 in pre-market trading.

jmb/bgs