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What’s going on?

Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer by revenue, thanked investors and invited them to come again with third-quarter earnings on Thursday that exceeded expectations.

What does this mean?

The retailer, which makes most of its money in the US selling groceries, saw its stores’ third-quarter sales rise 3.2% from a year ago – more than analysts predicted. That marks its 21st consecutive quarter of growth, a feat no other American retail chain has achieved. Ecommerce growth also beat forecasts, and the retail giant’s total profit was higher than expected too. That’s despite rising costs as Walmart invests more in fast and flexible delivery both home and abroad – costs that dinged Amazon’s profit last quarter.

Why should I care?

The bigger picture: Walmart isn’t just Walmart.

Last year, Walmart bought stakes in two online retailers: India’s Flipkart and China’s Those purchases have set it up to take on Alibaba, China’s answer to Amazon. And just as Amazon can take much of the credit for introducing Black Friday to shoppers around the world, Alibaba is to thank for Monday’s Singles’ Day – which brought the company $38 billion in sales. That might help the Chinese giant’s forthcoming Hong Kong share sale, which aims to raise another $15 billion.

For markets: Check Walmart out.

Owners of Walmart’s stock were likely pleased to see its price rise on Thursday. Its better-than-expected results were accompanied by an increased profit forecast for the rest of 2019, which has become tradition for Walmart at this time of year. That bodes well for its holiday shopping season, even as rival Amazon appeared to be more pessimistic. Investors may also have taken heart from Walmart’s UK update. Sales at the retailer’s British grocery chain Asda fell last quarter, but things could’ve been worse: data out on Thursday showed UK retail sales in October unexpectedly fell, but food sales were resilient.

Originally Posted on November 14, 2019 – Kwik-E-Walmart

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