EARNINGS-Walmart raises earnings forecast for year after jump in quarterly sales
By Nandita Bose
WASHINGTON, Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. retailer Walmart Inc WMT.N reported an estimate-beating jump in second-quarter U.S. comparable sales on Thursday as shoppers boosted purchases at its stores and websites, sending its shares up 5% in premarket trading.
Walmart raised its earnings expectations for the year after recording 20 quarters, or five straight years, of U.S. growth, unmatched by any other retailer.
The prices of some items sold by the retailer have climbed due to tariffs on Chinese imports, but the company is managing that pressure by negotiating with suppliers and sourcing from alternate supply bases, Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs told Reuters in an interview.
U.S. President Donald Trump raised tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from 10% earlier this year, a move that has begun pushing up prices of thousands of products including clothing, furniture and electronics.
Earlier this week, Trump backed off his Sept. 1 deadline for imposing 10% tariffs on remaining Chinese imports, delaying duties on cellphones, laptops and other consumer goods, to shield U.S. holiday sales from their impact.
Sales at U.S. stores open at least a year rose 2.8%, excluding fuel, in the quarter ended July 31. Analysts estimated growth of 2.07%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Adjusted earnings per share increased to $1.27 per share, beating expectations of $1.22 per share.
The retailer raised its forecast for adjusted earnings-per-share to a "slight decrease to slight increase," from a "decline by a low single-digit percentage range." That forecast includes the impact from the acquisition of Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart.
Online sales surged 37%, in line with the previous quarter's increase and higher than the company's expectation of 35%.
Total revenue was up 1.8% at $130.4 billion, beating analysts' estimates for $130.1 billion.
(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington; Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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