Walmart earnings top expectations as customers’ new shopping habits send e-commerce sales soaring 79%

Earnings

Customers shop at a Walmart store on May 19, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

Walmart is set to report third-quarter earnings before the bell on Tuesday.

The big-box retailer’s performance will offer a preview of how holiday shopping is shaping up during the coronavirus pandemic. Like other retailers, Walmart has kicked off its sales early because of global health crisis and split up Black Friday into multiple store and online events and digital deals.

Here’s what Wall Street is expecting for the fiscal third quarter, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: $1.18 expected
  • Revenue: $132.23 billion expected

Walmart has been one of the beneficiaries of stay-at-home trends during the pandemic. Since the spring, Americans have turned to its stores and website for groceries, cleaning supplies and items to pass the time, from puzzles to bicycles. The company also got a bounce from stimulus money, which customers rushed to stores to spend.

Now, however, investors and analysts will see if the retailer can sustain that momentum. With no sign of another stimulus package or additional unemployment benefits, some customers may feel financially strapped. Others may feel apprehensive about rising coronavirus cases, causing them to limit trips to the store or make more purchases online — transactions that come with additional costs and could contribute to the anticipated crush of packages this holiday season.

Starting Saturday, Walmart said it would resume counting and restricting the number of customers in the store to make sure stores don’t exceed capacity limits. Some grocers, including Kroger, Wegmans and Publix, have reinstated purchasing limits on toilet paper, disinfecting spray and hand sanitizer.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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