A worker wearing a protective mask arranges shopping carts outside a Walmart store in Duarte, California, the United States, on Thursday, November 12, 2020.
David Swanson | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Walmart will announce its fourth quarter results on Thursday before the bell.
Here’s what Wall Street expects:
- Earnings per share: Consensus estimates from Refinitiv expect USD 1.50
- Revenue: Refinitiv estimates $ 148.3 billion
- US sales in the same business without fuel: growth of 5.8% expected according to StreetAccount survey
The big box retailer has benefited from pandemic trends, from cooking to home puzzle solving, and likely got a boost from stimulus checks. The $ 600 checks gave retail sales a boost, which rose 5.3% in January. Walmart’s ecommerce sales in the US have also increased in recent quarters, although that rate has slowed. They rose 74% in the first quarter, 97% in the second quarter, and 79% in the third quarter.
However, analysts and shareholders have been watching whether the retailer can maintain its momentum and turn its growing online business into a profitable one. Many services that have gained popularity during the pandemic, like roadside collection, require higher costs and additional manpower as Walmart turns more of its employees into personal buyers who pick and pack. The e-commerce business has not yet made a profit. Marc Lore, the former Jet.com founder who led Walmart’s online strategy, recently announced his retirement.
Walmart has considered a new subscription service, Walmart +, as part of its strategy. The membership program was created to increase loyalty and attract more customer wallets. The service costs $ 98 for a year or $ 12.95 for a month. The company didn’t share its overall membership – a number analysts and investors were curious about.
The company also announced plans to convert portions of some stores into local fulfillment centers, mini-warehouses that use robots and personal shoppers to help complete online orders faster.
At the close of trading on Wednesday, Walmart shares were up nearly 25% over the past year. They closed at $ 147.20 on Wednesday, bringing the company’s market value to $ 416.47 billion.