Walmart profits take hit, but earnings rise as online grows

A shopper loads her car after shopping at a Walmart in Pittsburgh. The company reported its earnings on Thursday, May 17, 2018. (AP Photo)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Walmart profits take hit, but earnings rise as online grows

NEW YORK: US retail giant Walmart saw profits take a hit, but earnings beat analysts’ expectations and total sales rose amid the growth of online sales, according to results released Thursday.
Net income was down $905 million from the same period last year at $2.134 billion.
But the key earnings per share measure was $1.14, two cents higher than expected. And net sales, at $121.6 billion, were up 4.4 percent over the same period last year — more than $1 billion higher than expectations.
The decrease in net income is primarily due to a change in accounting policy related to Wal-Mart’s 2016 equity investment in Chinese online distributor JD.com, of which Wal-Mart holds a little more than 10 percent.
In its guidance, the company cautioned that the recent purchase of Indian online marketplace Flipkart announced earlier this month was expected to negatively impact earnings per share in the current fiscal year by $0.25 to $0.30 if the transaction closes at the end of the second quarter.
Wal-Mart, which is trying to compete with online giant Amazon, saw US comparable store sales rise 2.1 percent and customer traffic increase 0.8 percent, although the unseasonably cold weather hurt sales in the US.
US online sales surged 33 percent, while international sales jumped 4.5 percent.
“We are changing from within to be faster and more digital, while shaping our portfolio of businesses for the future,” Walmart chief Doug McMillon said in a statement.
Following the release, the company’s stock was up more than two percent in pre-market trading to $87.85.


Saudi finance ministry sells 3.95 bln riyals of domestic sukuk

Updated 12 min 16 sec ago
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Saudi finance ministry sells 3.95 bln riyals of domestic sukuk

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s finance ministry sold 3.95 billion riyals ($1.05 billion) of domestic sukuk in its monthly sale by re-opening an issue originally made last month, the ministry said.
It sold 3.35 billion riyals of five-year sukuk, 350 million riyals of seven-year and 250 million riyals of 10-year.
Last month, the ministry sold 5.0 billion riyals of domestic sukuk.