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Walmart’s 1Q earnings beat sets up exciting tableau for big retail earnings; Children’s Place sales go cold

Thursday, May 17, 2018 6:57
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Investors got their first peak at big retail earnings on Thursday with Walmart Inc (NYSE:WMT) beating expectations on the top and bottom line, as its e-commerce business found its mojo. Children’s Place Inc. (NASDAQ:PLCE), however, posted weaker-than-expected earnings for the first quarter, and investors punished the stock.

On Wednesday, Macy’s Inc. (NYSE:M) was the S&P 500’s biggest gainer, rising more than 10% after reporting results that beat expectations. Macy’s earned US$0.48 per share, which whizzed past analysts’ expectations of US$0.36 per share. Home Depot Inc (NYSE: HD), is slated to report results close on the heels of Walmart, Macy’s and Children’s Place.

Read: Macy’s shares rocket after crushing fiscal 1Q revenue and profit estimates

Investors sent up shares of Walmart by 1.71% to US$87.60 on Thursday, while thumbing down Children’s Place by nearly 3% to US$138.

For the quarter ended March 31, Walmart posted earnings of US$1.14 per share on revenue of US$122.7 bn. The big box retailer handily beat the consensus earnings estimate of US$1.12 per share on revenue of US$120.1 bn.

Earlier this month, Walmart agreed to pay around US$16bn to take control of India’s biggest online retailer Flipkart, in a deal that puts it head to head with Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN).   

Closer home, Walmart is getting big into online grocery delivery, challenging Amazon.

“Online grocery continued to accelerate and we had the new site redesign late in the quarter. We also have new brands in e-commerce including the partnership with Lord and Taylor, so there are a lot of different things driving growth there,” Walmart CFO Brett Biggs, told CNBC after earnings.

Read: Analysts give thumbs-down to Walmart’s US$16bn Flipkart deal

The Walmart online grocery delivery service will eventually reach 40% of US households, the company said. Walmart plans to use about 800 stores to operate the service.

However, competition in online grocery continues to heat up with Amazon-owned Whole Foods announcing on Wednesday that it was introduced its new exclusive discounts for Prime members. 

Cold takes better of Children’s Place

Children’s Place posted weaker-than-expected earnings for the first quarter, as unseasonably cold weather kept shoppers away.

For the quarter ended March 31, Children’s Place posted earnings of US$1.87 per share on revenue of US$436.3mln. The company’s earnings were well below the consensus of US$2.21 per share on revenue of US$442.9mln. Revenue fell 0.1% compared to the same quarter a year ago.

 Same-store sales fell 1.8%, below the consensus for a gain of 2.5%.

“Our ability to sell seasonal product in the first quarter was severely hampered by the combination of a record number of winter storms and the unseasonably cold temperatures that persisted across our major markets,” Children’s Place CEO Jane Elfers said in a statement. Once the weather improved late in the quarter, “our sales turned aggressively positive,” she said.

The company is still expecting fiscal 2018 adjusted EPS of US$8.20, compared with a consensus of US$8.16.

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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