Despite supply chain difficulties and growing prices, Walmart said on Thursday that shoppers came to its shops for gifts and groceries during the holiday season, driving the company’s quarterly earnings above Wall Street projections. The company said it is focusing on value and new revenue streams, particularly as it strives to entice customers with low pricing and investors with bigger profits amid an inflationary environment.
Despite a drop in the broader market owing to rising tensions on the Russia-Ukraine border, Walmart shares climbed 4% to $138.88 on Thursday. The company reaffirmed its positive outlook, which was higher than average analyst expectations. Even if the cost of meat and other items rises, Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs said the discounter will keep pricing competitive.
“We know that consumers are focused on inflation, and we’re continuing to watch key item pricing to ensure that we help them through this,” he said in an interview with CNBC. “This type of environment plays to our strengths.” According to Biggs, the company’s supply chain expenditures were $400 million higher than expected in the first quarter. Covid leave expenditures surged $300 million higher than projected as omicron spiked, he said. Except as necessary by state or municipal laws, Walmart paid Covid leave programme will terminate on March 31.