Walmart Online Growth During Holiday Season Reaches 29%

Shares of Walmart rose by 3% Tuesday after the giant retailer posted its tenth consecutive quarter of increasing comparable sales in the U.S. fueled by big gains in its business online.

The largest retailer in the world has invested large sums of money into raises for workers and technology tools along with vastly expanding and improving its offerings online as it narrows the large gap between itself in Amazon.

The effort is now paying off. Walmart U.S. with close to $308 billion in annual sales, posted an increase in comparable sales of 1.8% during its quarter that included the holiday shopping season. That figure beat Wall Street expectations of an increase of 1.3%.

Walmart U.S. is expecting the streak of comparable sales increases to continue during its ongoing quarter. Shopper traffic increased as well, which is quite notable given that other retailers such as Target, Macy’s and others faced big challenges trying to attract customers into their stores during the holidays.

The growth in e-commerce was 29% as the discount retailer started reaping benefits of its acquisition of $3 billion for jet.com last year, along with huge overhauls in its different marketplaces.

Walmart’s e-commerce site now is offering over 35 million different types of items, which is still just a fraction of the assortment offered by Amazon but over four times more that it offered just one year ago.

CEO Doug McMillon of Walmart Stores said the company continued to invest in its e-commerce site to help accelerate growth.

Over the past few months, Walmart has acquired smaller e-commerce retailers such as a deal last week for Moosejaw an outdoor e-commerce business.

Walmart during the fall warned its investors that it would slow the pace significantly of opening new stores in 2017, as it was deploying its capital expenditures for its e-commerce site.

Globally during the fourth quarter, which ran through late January, per share earnings for Walmart stores was $1.30, just higher than Wall Street expectations of $1.29.

Revenue was also just slightly higher that expectations at just over $130.93 billion, versus the actual $131.22 billion. This came despite deflation in food prices and a strong dollar, which helped to slam its international results.

During its new fiscal year, Walmart is expecting an overall profit of more than $4.40 per share, in comparison to an estimate of slightly higher than $4.32.

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