Walmart preview: U.S. sales growth at Walmart could outdo Amazon


Walmart Inc.’s U.S. sales growth could outdo Amazon.com Inc. when the retail giant reports its fiscal second-quarter earnings on Tuesday.

Amazon
AMZN,
+0.41%
reported second-quarter sales growth on July 29 that slowed to 27% from more than 40% in recent quarters.

Bank of America analysts say “Walmart U.S. sales growth may outpace Amazon’s total ‘online stores’ growth” with help from added merchandise, same-day delivery and pickup and other offers.

“We believe Walmart’s omnichannel transformation in the U.S. will continue to gain momentum and support more sustainable and predictable positive same-store sales and traffic at U.S. Supercenters and U.S. e-commerce and GMV growth that should support P/E multiple expansion,” analysts wrote in a note.

See: Amazon’s supply chain is operating near capacity and impacting some big decisions, experts say

Walmart
WMT,
-0.03%
is also getting a boost from re-gains in grocery market share as lower-income consumers adopt online shopping habits and should see third-quarter upside from back-to-school and general merchandise sales.

Bank of America rates Walmart stock at buy with a price objective of $185.

To be sure, Amazon is still dominating e-commerce. The latest from eMarketer shows that Amazon will account for 41.4% of all U.S. e-commerce sales in 2021. Walmart comes in second at 7.2%.

But, data provided by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) shows that Walmart’s e-commerce site “continues to show signs of strength” with shoppers spending about $1,300 per year and average annual spend rising over the past couple of quarters as COVID-19 drives consumers online. That figure is on top of what is spent in stores.

The group also estimates that Walmart+, the company’s Prime rival, has between 8.5 million and 9.5 million members. That’s up from 7.4 million to 8.2 million in January.

Also: ‘A great time to buy,’ says one Wall Street analyst as Amazon shares tumble on disappointment

Here are other items to watch for when Walmart reports its earnings:

Earnings: The FactSet consensus is for earnings per share of $1.56, down from $2.06 last year.

Estimize, which crowdsources estimates from sell-side and buy-side analysts, hedge-fund managers, executives, academics and others, forecasts EPS of $1.60.

Revenue: The FactSet revenue consensus is $135.63 billion, down from $137.70 billion last year.

FactSet’s global same-store sales consensus is for 3.1% growth, with the U.S. up 3% and international sales up 5%.

Estimize forecasts revenue of $138.49 billion.

Stock price: Walmart stock has rallied 10% over the last three months, and is up 3.7% for the year to date.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-0.27%
has gained 16% for 2021 so far.

Other items:

Other analysts are also putting Walmart’s growth this quarter in the grocery basket.

“Grocery should lead comps performance accelerating from Q1,” wrote Credit Suisse in a note.

Credit Suisse rates Walmart stock outperform with a $158 target price.

“We expect Walmart to maintain momentum over the coming quarters as the environment normalizes and shoppers once again become more price sensitive,” wrote Cowen analysts.

“Further, our proprietary surveys indicate Walmart remains an online grocery share leader as over 58% of online grocery shoppers in June purchased from the retailer.”

Cowen rates Walmart stock outperform with a $170 price target.

Read: Grocery Outlet shares slide on concerns the retailer can’t hold on to customers gained during COVID

-Walmart’s private-label insulin is a big opportunity.

Cowen analysts estimate that 14% of Walmart’s customers have diabetes. In June, the company announced that it has partnered with Novo Nordisk A/S
NVO,
+0.62%

NOVC,
+0.77%
on private-label insulin.

Cowen analysts think the insulin offer could drive repeat business. It’s also part of the company’s effort to dive more deeply into the healthcare category.

“Stepping back, this is just the latest move as the retailer has been beefing up its healthcare ecosystem which includes the recent acquisition of MeMD, a telehealth provider, and launching Walmart Insurance Service last fall,” Cowen wrote in a note published Thursday.

“Additionally, Walmart also operates 20 clinics with plans for additional openings in the near term. We are constructive on Walmart’s advances into healthcare as the retailer is expertly widening its retail ecosystem which we expect will result in increased customer loyalty.”

Bank of America notes that Walmart is growing its alternate revenue streams including healthcare, advertising and services. Several of the health centers the company has planned with be in Florida, where analysts say the company will make inroads with an older demographic.



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