Walmart lifts full-year sales and profit forecast, shares rally

By Thomson Reuters May 16, 2024 | 6:12 AM

(Reuters) -U.S. retail giant Walmart raised its fiscal 2025 sales and profit forecast on Thursday, betting on easing inflation to further boost demand for essentials and bring a rebound in sales of discretionary products like electronics.

Shares of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company were up 6%in premarket trading.

The retail bellwether now expects annual consolidated net sales to rise at the high end or slightly above its prior forecast of 3% to 4% growth.

It also expects adjusted profit per share to be at the high end or slightly above its prior estimate of $2.23 and $2.37, it said on Thursday.

Total U.S. comparable sales rose 3.9%, excluding fuel, in the first quarter ended April 30, helped by a similar rise in the number of average transactions. Volume sales also grew in the quarter, Walmart said. Analysts on average were expecting U.S. comparable sales growth of 3.15%.

The stock’s surge has boosted its valuation past 25 times expected earnings, up from a 10-year average valuation of about 20, suggesting strong growth in coming quarters, according to LSEG data.

(Reporting by Ananya Mariam Rajesh in Bengaluru and Siddharth Cavale in New YorkEditing by Nick Zieminski)