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Grocery sales, back-to-school spending fuel Walmart earnings

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Fiscal-second-quarter earnings top estimates.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Walmart continued to gain share of the U.S. grocery market in its second quarter, driven in part by growth in its nearly year-old Walmart+ membership program. A strong start to the back-to-school shopping season also helped lift comps at its U.S. stores, the company reported today.

Walmart raised its forecast for fiscal 2022, saying it now anticipates an earnings boost on U.S. same-store sales growth of between 5% and 6%, excluding fuel.

Walmart posted U.S. comps of 6.1% in its second quarter, as shoppers made more shopping trips. The average ticket declined nearly 1% compared to the year-earlier period.

U.S. digital sales increased 6% in the quarter.

“We had another strong quarter in every part of our business,” said Doug McMillon, Walmart’s president and chief executive officer. “Our global e-commerce sales are on track to reach $75 billion by the end of the year, further strengthening our position as a leader in omnichannel. We grew market share in U.S. grocery, added thousands of new sellers to our marketplace, rapidly grew advertising businesses around the world, and we’re finding innovative ways to commercialize our data and build technology.”

Sam’s Club comp sales increased 7.7%, and the unit’s digital sales were up 27%. Membership income increased 12.2% with member count reaching an all-time high.

PYMNTS.com reported in June that the Walmart+ subscription service had nearly 54 million members, an increase of 21% from the previous month. The retailer launched the program last September as a competitor to Amazon’s Prime membership program that would leverage its in-store and online assets that include fuel discounts and unlimited free delivery from stores.

Walmart International net sales declined 15.2% to $23 billion following divestitures in some markets. Walmart has been retreating in the United Kingdom, Japan and Argentina while increasing its focus on more promising international markets, including China, India and Mexico.

Walmart reported net income fell to $4.28 billion, or $1.52 per share, from $6.48 billion, or $2.27 per share, a year earlier. Excluding items, the company earned $1.78 per share in the 13-week period ending July 31.


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