Walmart Inc.‘s U.S. e-commerce sales will continue to be robust for the foreseeable future as it continues to innovate to try to catch up to rival Amazon.
In advance of today’s annual meeting for the investment community, the Bentonville, Ark.-based giant this morning reaffirmed its fiscal year 2019 sales expectations and updated earnings per share guidance to reflect its investment in Flipkart in India. EPS GAAP guidance is now $2.65 to $2.80 and adjusted EPS guidance is now $4.65 to $4.80, compared to previous guidance of $2.90 to $3.05, and $4.90 to $5.05, respectively.
The retail and e-commerce giant said same-store sales in the U.S. excluding fuel will grow 2.5 percent to 3 percent in fiscal 2019, following expected growth of 3 percent this year, which represented the fastest growth in a decade. Comp-store sales grew 4.5 percent in the second-quarter of fiscal 2019.
Walmart expects sales growth in fiscal 2020 to be 3 percent or greater, negatively impacted by the deconsolidation of its operations in Brazil and the planned reduction of tobacco sales at Sam’s Club.
E-commerce sales in fiscal year 2020 are expected to increase by 35 percent. Online and digital momentum is being fueled by grocery and digital native brand acquisitions such as Modcloth and Bonobos, which are being sold on Walmart-owned Jet.com, and partnerships such as Lord & Taylor’s storefront on walmart.com.
While Walmart will open fewer than 10 stores in the U.S. in 2020, the company plans to unveil more than 300 units in Mexico and China.
Other topics Walmart Inc. president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon and chief financial officer Brett Biggs plan to discuss include the impact of potential tariffs on Chinese imports.
The retail giant will likely tout its new partnership with PayPal and joint venture with Eko to create interactive storytelling for entertainment and retail, as well recent acquisitions of direct-to-consumer brands Eloquii and Bare Necessities.
Last mile delivery, reducing supplier emissions, pioneering blockchain for food safety at scale, and leveraging machine learning across the enterprise are other topics on tap. Walmart executives may also discuss the upcoming holiday season, which could be stronger now that Sears has declared bankruptcy.