Walmart boosts outlook, grocery leads as e-commerce slows

Market expert predicts surge in retail spending going into fall

Mark Avallone, Potomac Wealth Advisors president and founder, discusses concerns of consumer price inflation as Home Depot beats earnings estimates.

Walmart bumped up its sales forecast for the second straight quarter as a boost in grocery sales helped outweigh a slowdown in e-commerce post-pandemic. 

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WMTWALMART, INC.151.26+0.40+0.26%

The world's largest retailer now expects sales to rise as high as 6% for the year. 

"I'm confident in the fundamental strength of our business as we navigate the benefits from the economic stimulus in the U.S. for both this year and last year," said CEO Doug McMillon during the company's earnings call. 

Walmart also "grew market share in the U.S" potentially taking on pure grocers, such as Kroger.

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KRTHE KROGER CO.45.53+2.06+4.74%

Sales at stores opened at least a year rose 5.2%, a bit of a slowdown from the 6% increase in the first quarter. Online sales growth dramatically slowed to 6% compared to the year ago's 97% gain when the pandemic-induced lockdowns resulted in frenzied online spending. That followed a 37% increase in the first quarter and a 69% increase in the fourth quarter.

Walmart reported on Tuesday earnings of $4.27 billion, or $1.52 per share, during the three-month period ended July 31. That is a nickel better per share than Wall Street had expected, according to a survey by FactSet. Net profit last year was $6.47 billion, or $1.77 adjusted per share. Sales in the most recent quarter rose 2.2% to $139.87 billion, also better than the $137.02 billion industry analysts expected.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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