Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) recorded a big jump in online sales in the first quarter. The company recorded 63 percent jump on a year-over-year basis while gross merchandise value also climbed 69 percent. This could signal that the company is serious in weaning away customers from online retailer Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), which has other businesses to compensate.
Even during the peak holiday season, Wal-Mart Stores could achieve e-commerce sales growth of 29 percent only while GMV jumped 36.1 percent in the fourth quarter. The latest quarterly numbers suggest that the world’s biggest retailer’s focus on e-commerce is paying off its dividends.
The company delivered earnings of $1.00 a share for the first quarter, which was ahead of the Street analysts’ estimate of 96 cents a share. However, its revenue of $117.5 billion fell short of the analysts’ predictions of $117.74 billion. Its US comparable sales advanced 1.4 percent fueled by 1.5 percent growth in traffic. On a two-year stacked basis, comp traffic advanced 3.0 percent.
Wal-Mart’s president and CEO, Doug McMillion, commented “Our plan is gaining traction, and I want to thank our associates for their hard work, ingenuity and commitment to our customers. Our customers have choices, and we have to earn their business with every interaction.”
Following is the data on online sales and gross merchandise value during the preceding four quarters:
- In the fourth quarter, Wal-Mart’s e-commerce growth was 29.0 percent while gross merchandise value jumped 36.1 percent. This included online grocery, as well as, Jet.com that was acquired in the third quarter.
- During the third quarter, the biggest retailer’s online sales and GMV witnessed a growth of 20.6 percent and 16.8 percent respectively. Excluding Yihaodian, GMV would have increased 28.6 percent.
- In the second quarter, the company’s e-commerce sales and GMV recorded an uptick of 11.8 percent and 13.0 percent respectively.
- During the first quarter, online sales and GMV witnessed a growth rate of 7 percent and 7.5 percent respectively.
At time of writing this, Wal-Mart shares are trading down 0.16 percent in pre-market.