Walmart’s outlook signals optimism on shoppers, cost control

Walmart’s outlook signals optimism on shoppers, cost control

Bloomberg: Walmart Inc. surpassed Wall Street’s quarterly profit expectations and unveiled an upbeat outlook, signaling confidence in its ability to handle rising inflation and flagging consumer sentiment.

Comparable sales at US Walmart stores will increase  “slightly above 3%” excluding fuel during the current fiscal year, which ends in early 2023, the retailer said as it reported earnings. That tops the 2.7% average gain expected by analysts.

The results underscore Walmart’s progress in navigating scarce transportation capacity, higher wages and rising fuel costs, which are combining with robust demand to spur the fastest growth in US consumer prices in four decades. The company’s gross margin, a broad measure of profitability, also surpassed analyst estimates in the fourth quarter by climbing slightly to 23.8% with a boost from the sprawling US business.